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Cardinals designate Greg Holland for assignment

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The Cardinals have designated reliever Greg Holland for assignment.

The Cardinals now have a week to either trade Holland or release him. Given that he’s owed a ton of money and has pitched so terribly, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to find a trade partner. Indeed, this move suggests that they were unable to get anyone particularly interested before now. Once a week is up he could be had for the league minimum, at which point a lot more teams are likely to take a chance on him as a free agent.

Holland posted a ghastly 7.92 ERA over 32 appearances with his strikeout rate going way down, his walk rate going way up and his hits per nine innings almost doubling. It’s just been a nightmare season for a guy who, last year in Colorado, led the league with 41 saves and 58 games finished while posting a 3.61 ERA and striking out 11 batters per nine. Holland rejected the Rockies’ qualifying offer, bypassing $17.4 million salary for 2018. As a result, many felt the Cardinals got a relative bargain on him. Seems not.

This is not anything anyone would’ve expected before the season began, when Holland was signed to a one-year, $14 million deal, but I suppose a lot of things that have happened to the Cardinals this year is not what was expected.

 

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

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The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game versus the Athletics, back when he was still with the Giants.

Bumgarner suffered bruised ribs and a left shoulder AC sprain in 2017 when he got into a dirt bike accident. Given that, Bumgarner’s latest extracurricular activity does raise a concern for the Diamondbacks, who inked him to a five-year, $85 million contract two months ago. Baggarly and Buchanan asked Bumgarner about such a concern. Bumgarner referred them to the club’s managing partner Ken Kendrick. Kendrick directed them to GM Mike Hazen. Hazen declined speaking about “specific contract language.” For what it’s worth, Bumgarner says he primarily uses his right hand to rope.

The jig is up on Bumgarner’s hobby. He jokingly said to The Athletic’s pair, “I’m nervous about this interview right now.” He added, “I’m upset with both you two.”