The main task of the Texas Rangers this off-season was adding quality depth to both the rotation and bullpen. Could veteran Derek Holland be an option as insurance in 2018?
It’s been quite some time since Derek Holland was dominating in the Texas Rangers rotation. In fact, the last time Holland had a solid season in Arlington was 2013. Could Holland still offer something to the Rangers organization?
Last season, Holland went 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA in 29 games (26 starts) with the Chicago White Sox. He gave up 31 home runs, and was completely shelled on the South Side. It’s difficult to imagine Holland being able to help the Rangers, but they do like to help guys rebound.
Just in the last couple seasons, the Rangers have signed Ian Desmond, Carlos Gomez, and Andrew Cashner. All were coming off horrible seasons, and they were all able to rebound in Arlington. There is something special about Arlington that turns players careers around.
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Holland spent eight seasons with the Rangers organization. He went 62-50 with a 4.35 ERA in 179 games (158 starts) in Arlington. The 31-year-old had some incredible moments with Texas, including a 16 win season in 2011.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, Holland is not the same pitcher that used to be. At best, he’s a fifth starter or possibly a long reliever in the bullpen. Although, the Rangers don’t risk almost anything by signing Holland.
The Rangers have been signing veterans all off-season to short-term, low-cost deals. Signing Holland to a one-year $2 million deal is a good idea regardless of the outcome. He gets an opportunity to finish his career where it started.
Texas is lacking depth in the rotation, and they already lost Martin Perez to begin 2018. Holland could fill-in and at least offer something to the Rangers organization. He’s not going to be the pitcher he once was, but he could eat up innings and help save the bullpen.
Holland should at least get an invite to Spring Training. Rangers should give him a chance to prove he’s still got something left in the tank. It’s worth a shot at a low-cost, and could end up benefiting Texas.