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.
At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.
Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.
This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.
This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.