After plenty of MLB rumors surrounding free agent pitcher Greg Holland signing with a new team, it appears one has actually materialized as legitimate. The St. Louis Cardinals reportedly agreed to a deal with Holland, as FanRag Sports reported on Thursday. ESPN also reported on the deal, suggesting that there were “multiple reports” about St. Louis making the arrangement with Holland.
Earlier on Thursday, FanRag Sports‘ Jon Heyman first reported about the deal being close and then added that it was just about done, pending a physical. In a later update, Heyman said that it will be a one-year deal worth $14 million for the veteran relief pitcher. He added that with the Cardinals’ projected closer Luke Gregerson on the disabled list and the season now starting, it was time for St. Louis to make the deal happen.
The Cardinals were previously linked to Holland during offseason free agency speculation. As other top free agent pitchers were taken off the market, Holland’s name was one of the last top stars remaining for a team to land. The relief pitcher was ranked in the top 10 of MLB Trade Rumors‘ top available free agents of this past MLB offseason.
update: holland deal done now, pending physical. ,https://t.co/wMe5j0Fb9u
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 29, 2018
Holland spent his first six seasons with the Kansas City Royals and achieved a 2.42 ERA along with 145 saves during that time. However, he missed the entirety of the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery. He participated in his first season back on the mound after the surgery this past season with the Colorado Rockies. He ended having a very successful campaign, with 41 saves for the season, tying the most saves in the NL by a relief pitcher for 2017. Before the MLB All-Star break, he provided 28 saves out of 29 attempts and also achieved an impressive 1.62 ERA in those appearances.
The St. Louis Cardinals opened their season on Thursday with an away game against the New York Mets but fell 9-4 in that contest. Carlos Martinez picked up the loss for St. Louis after four innings of work in which he had five strikeouts and gave up four earned runs. Cardinals fans also saw the debut of rookie pitcher Jordan Hicks who showed what he’s capable of with a 101.6 mph pitch.
In his @MLB debut, he reached 101.6 mph! ????
Just 6 pitchers threw a pitch that fast in 2017. pic.twitter.com/jS165DxX2r
— #Statcast (@statcast) March 29, 2018
As of this report, there is no word on when the St. Louis Cardinals might officially begin using Greg Holland as part of their rotation this season, but his addition will certainly help bolster the bullpen of a team looking to contend for the postseason again.