Greg Holland Signs With the St. Louis Cardinals

against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on September 11, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.

According to a Jon Heyman report, free agent Greg Holland inked a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals worth $14 million.

Holland is a 32-year-old reliever, who spent 2017 as the closer for the Colorado Rockies. Even at the launching pad that is Coors field, Holland put together a successful season. He posted a 3.61 ERA in 57.1 innings saving 41 games. His strong 2017 campaign earned him his third trip to the All-Star game.

St. Louis Cardinals sign Greg Holland

Holland was signed prior to the 2017 season to a one-year deal, low-risk, high-reward type contract worth $6 million with the Rockies. Holland was recovering from the Tommy John surgery he underwent on October 2, 2015. He missed all of the 2016 season as a result. The contract paid off for the Rockies, as Holland was a pivotal piece to their bullpen, and was instrumental to their first postseason birth since 2009.

From the outside looking in, Holland’s total numbers in 2017 appear to be mostly positive. Yet with Holland, his productive season took a sharp turn after the All-Star break. Before the break Holland was dominant, he had a 1.62 ERA in 33.1 IP, all while saving a league-leading 28 saves, and having just a lone blown save.

In the second half, Holland, unfortunately, didn’t enjoy the same success. His ERA skyrocketed to 6.38 in 24 IP and saved just 13 games. In early August, Holland had blown saves in consecutive appearances, and blew his fourth game later in the season.

His severe splits from before and after the all-star break is a mild cause for concern. Some questioned whether Holland was overused in the first half, while others believed his stamina and durability possibly faltered after Tommy John surgery.

His average velocity only slightly dipped from 2015 to 2017, but Holland is no longer the power pitcher who averaged nearly a 97 mph fastball earlier in his career.

Three-Headed Monster

Before heading west to Colorado, Holland was a member of one of the most formidable bullpen squads in recent history. Holland was the closer for the Kansas City Royals from 2012-2015 and was apart of a three-headed-monster that also included Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera. During that four-year stretch, he averaged 39 saves, 92 strikeouts and a 2.24 ERA.

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