Derek Holland’s days wearing a Texas Rangers uniform appear to have come to a close. Holland has an 11 million dollar club option, which the Rangers have reportedly informed Holland that they will not pick up. Well, kind of. It is still possible the team picks up the option, but would only do so if they were to trade Holland to a different club. To read more about players with club options being available via trade, you can check out that article here.
Starting pitching is always at a premium. The free agent market is extremely unappealing this offseason, meaning teams could very well look to wheel and deal when it comes to bolstering their rotations. Now if Holland were not traded, he would have his option declined and paid one and a half million dollars and become a part of that below average free agent class. So you may ask, why wouldn’t a team just let him become a free agent and then not part way with any players in return?
The answer to that question is fairly straight forward. By trading for Holland, a team would guarantee they get him on a one-year deal. If he goes to free agency, he would likely command at least a two-year deal, and possibly three considering the other options available are uninspiring. That one year deal makes him a more intriguing option given he has not exactly been a dominant force on the mound recently.
In 2016, Holland finished with a 7-9 record in 107 and a third innings over the course of 20 starts. Over those innings, he struck out only 67 batters, walked 35 and had an ERA of 4.95. The 30-year-old southpaw is a former top prospect who has yet to have a true breakout season in Texas did battle a shoulder injury in 2016. A change of scenery could only help. It would get him out of the hitter-friendly park in Arlington, and give him the chance to work with a new pitching coach. Lefties tend to develop later in their careers so that a team could roll the dice on him for one season in hopes of a breakout.
The Miami Marlins are said to be looking for starting pitchers and could be an interesting option. It would not only move him from a hitter’s park to a pitcher’s park, but also from the AL to the NL. Given the window for the Rangers to decide if they are going to pick up the option is five days following the conclusion of the World Series, the clock is ticking. If they are going to pick up the option, they are going to want to know they have a deal in place. So a deal with Miami that includes Marcel Ozuna is possible, given he will be available this winter and the Rangers were connected to him last winter, it is unknown if such a deal would require more pieces from Texas. If so, can they pull things off within the next week?
Another interesting option would be the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh is the place where pitchers are reborn, thanks to the work done by pitching coach Ray Searage. Pitchers like AJ Burnett, J.A. Happ, and Francisco Liriano have had their careers boosted by a stint in Pittsburgh. With the Pirates on the hunt for rotation upgrades, Holland is the typical reclamation type of arm that they love to acquire.
As I mentioned earlier, almost every team is always looking for pitchers. So these are only two of the possible options where Derek “Dutch” Holland could land. Given the Rangers are set to move on from him, they will certainly do everything in their power to pull off a deal, so they get something in return. So keep an eye out for a Holland deal in the coming days, with the World Series coming close to its conclusion. Holland won’t a member of the Texas Rangers in a week’s time, but the question remains, where will he land?