The Kansas City Royals have just agreed today with free agent reliever Greg Holland on a one year 2.75 million dollar deal for the 2021 season, with 1.5 million dollars worth of incentive, first reported by Jeff Passan. The long time Royal, who is fourth all time in franchise history for saves, will being his eighth season with the club, and 11th season overall. While being a Royal, Holland has seen a good amount of success, posting a sub 2.00 ERA in four separate seasons with Kansas City, and struggling outside of the Royals, with the Rockies, Cardinals and Diamondbacks. In the time with the other three clubs, he posted a combined he posted a 5.35 ERA, highlighted by a horrific half season for the Cardinals, posting a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings, before getting released and signed by the Nationals about halfway through the 2018 season.
Holland experienced a turn around season in 2020 as a 34 year old, posting a 1.91 ERA in 28.1 innings, with a 242 ERA+ and 2.52 FIP. The biggest change from 2019 to 2020 for Holland, was increasing the usage for his slider, throwing it over 51 percent of the time, and hitters managed just a .167 Batting Average against the pitch. He also saw an increase in spin rate on his fastball, adding 8 percent more spin to the pitch, which helped his velocity jump a full MPH from 2019 to 2020, and dropping hitters average from .245 against the pitch in 2019, to .160 against it in 2020.
Holland is just another good pickup for a team in the Royals, who have already been one of the more active teams on the free agent market, already picking up Carlos Santana and Mike Minor.