Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland made news today by announcing that he would opt out of his deal with the Rockies, making him a free agent this winter. This move comes on the heels of a remarkable comeback season from Tommy John surgery, as Holland posted an NL-tying 41 saves and made the All-Star game for the first time since 2014.
Greg Holland to Opt Out of Deal
Holland was an integral piece in a Rockies bullpen that wasn’t very stellar overall, and was one of the primary reasons for their first playoff appearance since 2009. To some, his 3.61 ERA may take something away from how good he was this season and has been over his career, but it’s important to remember, as with every Rockies pitcher, that his home field lies in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball history.
He will earn a total of $16 million for his tenure in Colorado; he gets a $1 million buyout to go with his $15 million total. His contract was unique in the sense that he was able to collect $9 million off of incentives alone, for games played and finished. After a bounce-back season that may very well net him with the National League Comeback Player of the Year award, Holland may be looking for an expensive deal. His decision to opt out doesn’t foreclose upon a possible reunion with the Rockies next season, but Colorado may have to pony up to make his return a reality.
In an age when having a good bullpen is so important for success, Holland could be a useful piece on virtually any roster. As the playoffs have shown, bullpens need to be around four to five pitchers deep in order to survive a series, let alone a whole playoff run. Starters are lasting fewer and fewer innings, and quality outings seem to come few and far between. Dominant arms out of the bullpen are paramount for teams with championship aspirations. Holland’s success in an environment like Colorado bodes well for his chances in free agency. His ability to shut down lineups and show that he still had some of what made him one of the best relievers with the Kansas City Royals could mean the difference between making lower-level money or Aroldis Chapman-level money.