The Royals have re-signed reliever Greg Holland to a one-year, $2.75 million deal, according to ESPN reporter Jeff Passan. MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flangan notes Holland can receive up to $1.5 million in incentives. Holland appeared in 28 games for the Royals in 2020, with 31 strikeouts in 28 1⁄3 innings with a 1.91 ERA. He finished particularly strong, throwing 13 1⁄3 scoreless innings over his last 13 outings.
The 35-year old Holland was originally drafted and developed by the Royals out of Western Carolina, spending the first six years of his career with the team. He was a two-time All-Star with the Royals, and his 151 career saves are the fourth-most in club history behind Jeff Montgomery, Dan Quisenberry, and Joakim Soria. Holland had Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2016 season, but rebounded to lead the National League in saves in 2017. However he struggled with his command the next two seasons, bouncing from the Cardinals to the Nationals to the Diamondbacks. He signed a minor league deal with the Royals before the 2020 season and re-discovered his stuff, posting his best ERA in a season since 2014.
With Holland in the books, the #Royals are now at about $78 million for 14 players, which includes Mondesi and Keller’s arb estimates. That ends up at around $85 million with the rest of the roster filled out. They’ve got a bit more to spend if they so choose.— David Lesky (@DBLesky) December 14, 2020
The Royals had expressed a desire to bring Holland back ever since the season ended. Holland joins a bullpen that showed marked improvement last year and includes young arms like Josh Staumont, Kyle Zimmer, Scott Barlow, and Tyler Zuber. This continues a very active off-season for the Royals, with Holland joining outfielder Michael Taylor, first baseman Carlos Santana, and pitcher Mike Minor as free agents to sign with the Royals this winter.