Two weeks shy of Opening Day, All-Star closer Greg Holland remains unsigned. The Chicago Cubs would be well-advised to steer clear of the veteran hurler.
One of the craziest offseasons in Major League Baseball history is nearing an end – at last. There are still several reasonably big names out there on the free agent market. Veteran outfielders Matt Holiday and Jose Bautista are some of the bigger bats available. Right-hander Alex Cobb, a rumored Chicago Cubs target last fall, also lacks a new deal.
The most significant bullpen arm out there is 32-year-old All-Star closer Greg Holland.
Aside from the Cubs, the Cardinals, Angels, Rangers and Phillies checked in on Holland this winter. For the Cubs’ part, the interest seemed to peak earlier in the offseason. However, multiple recent reports suggest the team should, at the very least, check in on Holland. That, of course, being contingent on a bargain, short-term deal.
Let’s face it. The right and fair price likely won’t happen because of one glaring issue: Scott Boras.
Boras will drag this on into the regular season
This man will do everything in his power to get his clients the deal he thinks they deserve. Waiting into the regular season doesn’t phase him in the slightest. A prime example is Jake Arrieta, who waited until March 11 to sign a three-year, $75 million deal with Philadelphia.
Holland has certainly earned the right to get paid handsomely. He averaged 42 saves over the past four seasons with the last two coming as a member of the Rockies. As we all know, pitching in Denver is never easy.
However, Boras feels that his client should be earning something close to the three-year, $52 million deal the Rockies gave to Wade Davis.
At this point, it would be a shock to see Holland land something close to that. But, again, don’t ever sleep on Boras and the work he does. He’ll undoubtedly play the market as long as possible to maximize the deal the closer nets. Even if that means letting the season start with Holland unsigned.
Holland a solution to non-existent problem
As for Chicago, adding Holland would make an already solid Cubs’ bullpen even better. But it still doesn’t make enough sense to pull the trigger. The Cubs have their closer already in place after signing Brandon Morrow to a two-year, $22M deal earlier this winter.
Granted, Morrow has never closed before, but the Cubs have others who fill the role if he struggles. Justin Wilison, Pedro Strop and Carl Edwards Jr. have all proven they can get key outs in high-pressure situations.
At some point, Greg Holland will sign a contract for 2018. But it won’t be with the Cubs. That is, unless Scott Boras gets hit on the head with a baseball. Maybe then, he’d realize that if he wants his player to get paid, a one-year deal might end up being the best course of action. Then, he could hope to capitalize on a loaded free agent class in 2019.