Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Rangers are open to trading starter Derek Holland this offseason. The Rangers have club options on Holland over each of the next two seasons. For 2017, they can pay him $11 million to keep him around or buy him out for $1.5 million. In 2018, they can pay him $11.5 million or buy him out for $1 million.
Holland, 30, had a subpar season, finishing the regular season with a 4.95 ERA and a 67/35 K/BB ratio over 107 1/3 innings. He missed about two months during the summer due to inflammation in his left shoulder. Holland then lost his spot in the starting rotation in late September and was not included on the Rangers’ ALDS roster against the Blue Jays.
It’s hard to imagine the Rangers getting anything of substance in return for Holland unless they pay the remaining balance on his contract.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.