MLB Rumors: Derek Holland and the San Francisco Giants are both off to disappointing starts this year, leading Holland to vocalize his displeasure with what appears to be a lack of a coherent plan from the Giants’ front office. Holland has been demoted to the bullpen, though, based on his comments, it sounds like that happened after he played ball with the team on feigning an injury to go on the i.l.:
“To be honest, I have no idea what they’re doing,” Holland said when asked if he knew why he was being sent to relief. “I don’t mean Boch … It’s more from the front office.
“We keep changing a lot of things. I did a fake injury so I’m not happy about that. But at the end of the day I’m going to do what they ask me to do. I’m going to be here for my teammates. That’s what it’s all about.”
Holland was on the i.l. for right around 10 days at the end of April and beginning of May, and while everyone knows that teams can be loosy-goosy with alleged injuries justifying i.l. trips, coming out and saying he did a “fake injury” would seem to be a no-no.
So with Holland being sent to the bullpen and criticizing the front office in San Francisco, why not crank up some “bring Derek Holland back to the Texas Rangers” talk?
Holland was cut loose by the Rangers after 2016, had an awful 2017 season for the Chicago White Sox, then pitched well for San Francisco last year, putting up a 3.57 ERA and a 3.87 FIP in 171.1 IP. The Rangers reportedly had interest in Holland this past offseason, but he returned to San Francisco on a 1 year, $6.5 million deal that includes a $7 million team option for 2020 with a $500,000 buyout.
Holland has been awful for the Giants this year, however, putting up a 6.75 ERA and a 6.33 FIP in 7 starts, prompting his demotion (and interestingly, another Giant starter with a Ranger connection, Dereck Rodriguez, the son of Pudge Rodriguez, was sent to AAA yesterday). And while his xwOBA of .369 is lower than his actual wOBA of .387, suggesting there may be some bad luck there, even a .369 wOBA allowed is pretty bad.
And yet, here I am, spending a Mother’s Day Sunday morning writing a post about Holland, and how maybe the Rangers should go get him. Desperate times...
But still, there are a couple of different possibilities. Maybe the Giants release Holland, especially after these most recent remarks, eat what he’s owed, and move on. The Rangers would then be in a position to try to sign him to a minor league deal and see if he can be fixed in Nashville. Hell, they could sign him to a major league deal and have him replace Jeanmar Gomez and his 8+ ERA in the bullpen and see if he can be a viable multi-inning reliever. Pair him up with Shelby Miller, ask each of them to go 3-4 good innings, and see if the two of them can get you through a start.
Or maybe there’s a trade possibility there. Perhaps Texas would take Holland and pay, say, $1 million of what he is owed, allowing the Giants to escape some financial responsibility for the deal. Maybe the Giants pay all but the pro-rated minimum this year, and the Rangers take on the 2020 buyout. I threw out the possibility on Twitter of Shin-Soo Choo and $10 million to San Francisco for Holland, but that’s me just throwing things out there, though I do think San Francisco and Choo would be a good match.
Or maybe I’m just being nostalgic, and Holland wouldn’t be any better than Shelby Miller or Drew Smyly or Adrian Sampson or Kyle Dowdy or Jeanmar Gomez, and the Rangers would be better off not bringing him back, even as desperate as they are for someone who can give them credible major league innings, because Holland can’t give a team credible major league innings at this point.
In any case, Derek Holland to Texas is unlikely to happen...but given that this club is on the lookout for any warm body who can provide innings until at least August, which is the earliest you’d think they’d look at bringing up guys like Joe Palumbo or Jonathan Hernandez, its at least worth a mention.