Lefty starter Derek Holland has signed with the Chicago White Sox on a one-year, $6 million contract. He can earn another $1 million in performance bonuses. The deal was first reported by Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Bob Nightengale of USA Today had the dollars.
Earlier this offseason Holland said that he’d allow his former team, the Texas Rangers, match any offer he received in free agency. Despite the relatively modest size of this deal, they apparently had no interest. Then again, Holland has been limited to 35 starts over the past three seasons due to injuries, so price is not as big a problem as the simple matter of being able to count on him to stay off the DL is.
Holland was a below average pitcher in 22 games for Texas last year. While effective in short bursts here and there, he has not pitched a full season since 2013, in which he posted a 120 ERA+ over 213 innings. If he can at least eat innings going forward he can be a useful piece for the White Sox, who are rebuilding. Anything beyond that is gravy.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.