The Washington Nationals add yet another cheap relief pitcher as the team has signed Greg Holland to a minor league contract.
Greg Holland is back with the Washington Nationals after appearing in 24 games with the team last season. However, Holland and the Nats couldn’t come to an agreement in the offseason, so Holland signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks instead.
With the Nationals last season, Holland was extremely impressive, posting a 0.84 ERA along with great peripheral stats. He struck out 31.3% of the batters he faced and yielded only one home run in his 21.2 innings of work.
In January of this year, Holland signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks, which didn’t work out for either party. This season, Holland’s ERA ballooned up to 4.54 despite having a minuscule .244 BABIP. Arizona released him on August 9, and the Nats didn’t waste much time scooping him up.
Holland passed his physical and is reporting to the Harrisburg Senators, according to The Washington Post reporter Jesse Dougherty.
There are two parts to this agreement to dissect.
First, this is a minor league deal, not a major league deal. This mitigates nearly all of the risk on the Nationals side, making this a team-friendly signing.
Secondly, Holland’s placement in Harrisburg isn’t a coincidence. With the Nats at home all week, he can be in D.C. at a moment’s notice should the team need him. With the Nationals Triple-A team in Fresno being so far away, the Nats have used Harrisburg to stash players that might need to be called up to the big league club and at the stadium overnight.
Holland certainly can’t hurt the Nats bullpen at this point. There is already a logjam for right-handed relievers with Fernando Rodney, Wander Suero, and Tanner Rainey all vying for high leverage innings.
He is past his prime, so him rekindling the success he had last year with the Nats seems unlikely. However, if he can lower his ERA down to the low four to high three range, he will be a valuable part of the bullpen down the stretch of the season.