Nats bring in former Royals, Rockies closer Greg Holland

Josh Luckenbaugh
August 06, 2018 - 7:13 am
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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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The Nats made the Greg Holland signing official on Tuesday, optioning Jimmy Cordero back down to Triple-A Syracuse. In addition, the Nats added Jefry Rodriguez to the roster for Tuesday's doubleheader against Atlanta. 

Hours after the Nats traded away one veteran reliever in Shawn Kelley, it appears Washington brought in another to take his place on Sunday night. 

Holland is a three-time All-Star who co-led the National League with 41 saves last year as a member of the Rockies. The 32-year old enjoyed the best years of his career with the Royals, saving 93 games combined in 2013 and 2014 for Kansas City.

In 2014, Holland was the closer in a Royals bullpen that included current Nationals Kelvin Herrera and Tim Collins (now at Triple-A Syracuse). Kansas City reached the World Series that year, ultimately falling in seven games to the Giants, but Holland had a magnificent postseason, posting a 0.82 ERA and seven saves in 11 playoff appearances. 

His track record and postseason pedigree aside, Holland's 2018 season has not been one to write home about so far. Holland signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Cardinals at the beginning of the season, but struggled from the outset. On May 26, his ERA sitting at 9.45, St. Louis placed Holland on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip impingement. 

Holland returned to action on June 19, and just over a month later, the Cardinals designated him for assignment, officially releasing him on Aug. 1. For the season, Holland is 0-2 with a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings, recording zero saves and blowing three save opportunities. 

If Holland does in fact take Kelley's place in the Nats bullpen, he'll have to prove he can return to the form of his days in Kansas City and Colorado. It's a low-risk move for the Nats given their reliever depth, but Holland gives Washington another back-of-the-bullpen arm with Sean Doolittle sidelined and Kelley and Brandon Kintzler traded away, and one with experience pitching in a postseason race. 

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