The Royals and veteran reliever Greg Holland have agreed on a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training, sources told MLB.com on Tuesday. The deal, which has not been confirmed by the club, is said to be worth $1.25 million if Holland makes the big league roster, with another $1.125 million available in performance bonuses.
Holland, 34, pitched for Kansas City from 2010-15, posting a 2.42 ERA, a 33 percent strikeout rate and 145 saves, as well as helping the club reach the World Series for the first time in 29 years, when the Royals lost in seven games to the Giants in ’14. That October, Holland had a 0.82 ERA in 11 appearances.
The road has been rocky for Holland since he missed the 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery. While the right-hander returned to record a National League-best 41 saves for the Rockies in ’17, his ERA over the past two seasons was 4.64 in 40 appearances between the Cardinals, Nationals and D-backs.
With the Royals rebuilding, Holland will try to make the club out of Spring Training and compete with veteran right-hander Ian Kennedy for the closer’s role.