Nationals To Sign Greg Holland

1 week ago
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The Nationals have agreed to a minor-league contract with veteran reliever Greg Holland, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reported earlier today on Twitter that the sides were moving towards a deal.

Holland, a 33-year-old righty, was released recently by the Diamondbacks. He’ll continue to be paid the balance of his $ 3.25MM salary by the Arizona organization, though the D.C. org will pay the tab for the league minimum rate for whatever time Holland spends in a big-league uniform down the stretch.

When Holland joined the Nats late in the 2018 campaign, he was looking to bounce back from a brutal opening to the season. This time around, he had turned in good results for a lengthy stretch before things soured. But he’s also dealing with a different sort of problem: a marked, mid-season decline in velocity and swinging-strike rate on his fastball.

On the positive side, Holland has seemingly been good at limiting contact. Statcast credits him with a .292 xwOBA-against and excellent .192 xBA-against, though he is allowing more hard contact (36.8%) and a greater exit velocity (89.3 mph) than ever before. Keeping opponents from getting aboard by way of base knocks is particularly important for Holland since his walk rate is over 15% for the second consecutive year.

It remains to be seen whether and when Holland will contribute to the Nats’ pen. But the club has good cause to bring him aboard and hope for the best. The D.C. relief corps is as shaky as any such unit on a contending roster. Having already cycled through quite a few bullpen arms, including no shortage of recognizable veterans, the Nationals have little choice but to keep giving looks to the hurlers of Holland’s ilk that happen to come available.

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