The Nationals have reportedly engaged in contract negotiations with free agent reliever Greg Holland, per Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post. A deal hasn’t been finalized just yet, however, nor has the team confirmed the report.
Holland, 32, was released from the Cardinals last Wednesday after failing to log a single save in seven save chances and pitching to a career-worst 7.92 ERA, 7.9 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 in 25 innings — a performance that was undeniably hampered after he missed nearly four weeks with a right hip impingement. The right-hander looked no better during a brief rehab stint in the minors, and appeared to be a far way off from replicating the All-Star numbers and NL-best 47 saves he amassed with the Rockies in 2017. Still, he could yet provide some value to a bullpen that currently ranks 10th-worst in the majors with a cumulative 3.65 ERA and 1.7 fWAR this season (and whose closer is currently laid up with a stress reaction in his left foot).
Recent struggles notwithstanding, Holland’s track record attracted considerable interest around the league in the days following his release from the Cardinals. According to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, five or six unidentified teams have already come calling for the closer. It helps, too, that Holland successfully passed through waivers last week, so any interested party will be able to restructure a new deal with the righty rather than paying off the rest of the $14 million salary the Cardinals agreed to at the start of the season.