St. Louis Cardinals: An Innovative Approach to Fixing the Bullpen
Greg Holland is ready for his St. Louis Cardinals opus.
The St. Louis Cardinals must sign Greg Holland, as fellow writer and podcaster extraordinaire Christian May-Suzuki already suggested in an excellent expose on the merits of acquiring Greg Holland which you can check out here.
Suffice it to say that Holland is the second best arm available, after Wade Davis. Let me also remind you that Davis set Holland up when they were both in Kansas City (yes, they also had Kelvin Herrera and Joakim Soria – another loaded bullpen).
I do, however, want to highlight a couple of factors. While Holland touts a splendid 2.60 career ERA, that number is largely buoyed by last season’s ERA of 3.72 pitching in Colorado and his last pre-injury season in Kansas City (3.21).
The guy posted obnoxious numbers from 2011-2014 as the Kansas City closer. These freakish numbers made him one of the most dominant closers in baseball.
He still strikes out a ton of people with a career 11.9 K/9 rate and the guy has only given up 23 home runs in his entire 7-year MLB career. Seven of those came last year – which greatly inflates the number (thanks again Coors Field).
There is no question that Holland is a big-time arm, but the question is at what cost? There is some evidence of what Holland thinks of himself because he declined a $15 million player option with the Rockies.
This does not, however, mean that he will necessarily seek/receive $15 million AAV for his next deal. This simply means that he performed well enough to seek a longer-term deal, not in Colorado. Who could blame him?
The most Holland could possibly get in free agency is the Mark Melancon deal which was a then-record four-year, $62 million contract. Holland, however, will not get that deal because not enough contending teams need closers and his late-season meltdown with the Rockies and proximity to Tommy John surgery will surely provide a discount.
If Holland gets the coveted fourth year, I predict that he will be somewhere just above the Darren O’Day/Brett Cecil contract of four-years for $31 million. It may be difficult to get that fourth year.
My fellow writers, on average, have Holland netting a three-year, $33 million deal. That makes good sense to me, but we will round up to an even $12 million AAV to account for any bidding war that may occur with the Nationals.
Thus, the reasonable cost to acquire Greg Holland will be three-years, $36 million.