Top Five Best Fits for the Yankees on the Free Agent Market
On Saturday George King of the New York Post revealed that the Yankees would be one of several MLB clubs sending team officials to watch former Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland throw for scouts in Scottsdale, Arizona in hopes of landing a big league deal. After undergoing TJ surgery in October of 2015, Holland missed the entire 2016 campaign.
Prior to that, the two-time All-Star was one of the best closer’s in baseball from 2011 to 2014, pitching to a 1.86 ERA and 1.92 FIP while collecting 113 saves and striking out 35.2% of opposing batters. The Kansas City Star recently reported that Holland is expected to be fully healthy by the start of spring training. By the end of February he will be 16 months removed from the surgery.
According to Holland’s agent Scott Boras, the 30-year-old reliever is throwing in the low-90’s and has thrown off a mound three or four times prior to Monday’s showcase. Holland’s fastball has averaged 95.5 mph during his career, although it dipped down to 93.6 mph as he dealt with the effects of the UCL tear in 2015. With the elbow issue addressed, there’s a good chance that Holland’s heater could see some of its zip restored.
Holland would likely be open to a short-term deal to rebuild value, which would certainly be of interest to the budget-conscious Yankees. On the other hand, I would guess he’ll be looking for a closer’s job, which may mean they’d have to choose between him and Chapman. If Holland is willing to take over Andrew Miller‘s vacant fireman role, New York could again potentially have the game’s best bullpen.
Maybe the Yankees could get creative with a multi-year deal that includes an opt-out after the first year, similar to what the Mets gave Yoenis Cespedes? I think a three year $30 million deal with an opt out after year one would be an acceptable risk. Alternatively, maybe a traditional pillow contract of $15 million or so?