Amidst a season full of disappointment and crushed dreams for the Washington Nationals was a few bright spots. One of these was Greg Hollands “comeback”.
Holland started the 2018 season with the St. Louis Cardinals and was abysmal. In 32 games with the Cardinals, Greg Holland went 0-2 with three blown saves and a 7.92 ERA. A 7.92 ERA is horrendous for anyone, but Holland was an elite closer coming off a dominant 2017 campaign.
In 2017 Holland went. 3-6 with 41 saves and a 3.61 ERA. He tied for the most saves in the NL (41) with the LA Dodgers’ closer, Kenley Jansen. St. Louis cut Holland halfway through the season and he signed with Washington.
Holland went on to pitch in 24 games for Washington, posting a 2-0 record with three saves and a 0.84 ERA. The addition of Holland allowed Washington to have a pitcher to come in and help the team out of tight jams. At the same time, Holland was able to bounce back and prove to himself that he could still compete. Washington should re-sign the free agent to help bolster the bullpen for 2019.
A One Year Deal
Washington traded away relievers, Shawn Kelley, Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Madson during the 2018 season. They are also losing Kelvin Herrera to free agency and have some holes to fill in the bullpen.
Sean Doolittle returning from injury is a huge addition but the team will still need some help locking down the late innings. Re-signing Holland would allow for the team to have two elite closing options. A one year deal allows for Holland to prove himself to the league that his stint with St. Louis was a fluke and that he can still perform at the highest level.
Holland can pitch and lock down the middle innings or come in and hold the game for Doolittle in the ninth. The one-two, lefty/righty combination of Holland and Doolittle would be one of the best in the game.
Greg Holland would be a cheaper option because of his awful first half with the Cardinals. While he was able to bounce back with Washington, many teams are still hesitant that it was not a fluke and he will digress again. Washington has a payroll problem due to the price range of Bryce Harper. A one year prove it deal allows for Washington to spend less on an elite reliever; this way Washington can spend the rest of their funds on retooling for 2019.
At the same time Holland could reject a one year deal and look for his last big payday but this would be unwise. Staying in Washington allows for Holland to pitch for a contender who put faith in him after he was cut.
Feature Image From Beyond the Box Score.