The Texas Rangers made a couple of moves Monday that should not come as a surprise to fans. The team extended a qualifying offer to Ian Desmond and chose not to pick up Derek Holland’s option, making him an outright free agent.
Desmond Gets Qualifying Offer
One of the many bright spots in the Rangers lineup this year was Desmond. Jon Daniels took a flyer on Desmond as a free agent offseason, and it paid huge dividends. Coming off a down season for the Washington Nationals, the team parted ways with him. Desmond’s numbers increased across the board as a Texas Rangers. He lead the 2016 Rangers in hits and runs, and finished third or better in all major hitting categories except one. Desmond was also selected to the American League All-Star team.
On Monday, the team extended the qualifying offer to the free agent Desmond. The value of the offer was set at approximately $17.2 million.
Holland’s Club Option Declined
The organization also announced on Monday that they would not be picking up Holland’s 2017 club option. Holland struggled in recent seasons with injuries, and when he wasn’t hurt his pitching was lackluster. Going into the 2016 season, Holland needed to have a solid year. That didn’t happen. Holland finished the season with a 7-9 record and an ERA of 4.91. Towards the end of the season, manager Jeff Banister bounced Holland back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation. That kind of thing is never good for a pitcher’s confidence. The moves proved the writing was on the wall for Holland and the Rangers.
In a quote from his Instagram account, Holland said:
“Dear @rangers fans it comes to me that I will, or may not be a Ranger next year but as the news has come I will be testing out free agency. With that being said I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the greatest fans to me and welcoming not only me but my family to the great state of Texas and making some of the greatest memories ever.”
Holland’s Ranger Legacy
Although Holland’s numbers didn’t go over well with the fans, his personality did. He was a fan favorite. Whether he was doing a Harry Caray impression or dressing up and performing scenes from “Dumb and Dumber” through the streets of New York, he always put a smile on Ranger fans faces.
I remember when Holland was called up. I was present at the ballpark during his first batting practice. The look of excitement and joy on his face can’t be described. That night, I watched him go all the way around the walls of the field, signing every autograph he could. Derek Holland is a good guy, and good for baseball.
Sure, his numbers may not be the best, but a guy that can make the fans feel like they matter to the players is special. Hopefully, he will find a home with a new team, or maybe even the Rangers if they chose to re-sign him.
The club picked up Jonathan Lucroy’s option for $5.25 million on Thursday 11/3.
The Rangers will find out on Tuesday if they will be getting a new stadium. It is scheduled to be voted on by the citizens of Arlington as part of the election.