Jon Heyman reports that the St. Louis Cardinals are close to a deal with closer Greg Holland. It’s apparently a done deal, with only Holland’s physical required to make things official. It’s reportedly a one-year, $14 million deal.
From the moment Holland hit free agency — before he did, actually — the Cardinals seemed like the most obvious fit for Holland. They needed a closer, having let Seung Hwan Oh, Trevor Rosenthal and Juan Nicasio walk, Holland was reported to be interested in coming to St. Louis and all that needed to happen was for them to agree on money. Except it never happened. Holland rejected the Rockies’ qualifying offer — effectively costing him over $3 million this year — the Cardinals waited Holland out all winter and now, hours before their Opening Day game, they seem poised to land him.
Holland, 32, had a solid season with the Rockies last year, saving a league-high 41 games with a 3.61 ERA and a 70/26 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings, though he slowed down as the season ended.
He’ll have to ramp up now, having had no spring training to speak of. It likely won’t be long, however, until he displaces Dominic Leone, Bud Norris, Jordan Hicks, Tylor Lyons an eventually-healed Luke Gregerson or whoever else the club bluffed about being good enough to handle the job while negotiating with Holland’s agents.