Greg Holland taking over as Royals’ closer

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The Royals dealt closer Jonathan Broxton to the Reds about 30 minutes before this afternoon’s trade deadline. And now it’s time for a fresh face to begin handling save opportunities in Kansas City.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star spoke Tuesday with Royals manager Ned Yost, who named Greg Holland the club’s next ninth-inning man.

Holland hasn’t recorded a save this season, but the 26-year-old right-hander has a 3.19 career ERA and has fanned 153 batters in 118 1/3 MLB innings. He possesses a dominant arsenal, and is capable of shining down the stretch.

The Royals’ return for Broxton was lefty Donnie Joseph, who has a 1.72 ERA and 68/17 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings this season in the minors, and J.C. Sulbaran, a right-hander whose numbers are less inspiring.

Dominic Smith likely to start the season at Triple-A

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Following the Mets’ recent signing of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that fellow first baseman Dominic Smith is likely to start the season with Triple-A Las Vegas. That is contingent, of course, on the veteran Gonzalez’s ability to remain healthy, which isn’t a guarantee.

Smith, 22, struggled last season, batting .198/.262/.395 in 183 plate appearances. The Mets have also expressed concern about Smith’s conditioning. Puma reported in November that as a result of better dietary choices and a daily exercise regimen, Smith had already lost 11-12 pounds.

Gonzalez, 35, didn’t exactly have a stellar 2017 campaign. Along with battling back issues, Gonzalez hit .242/.287/.355 in 252 PA. That the Mets’ Plan A is to go with Gonzalez over Smith says something about their confidence in Smith.