The Colorado Rockies were in need of another arm to shore up a beleaguered bullpen. Greg Holland just wanted a chance as he comes back from elbow reconstruction surgery.
Maybe, this could be a great save for both.
The right-hander agreed to a $7 million, one-year contract with the Rockies, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The deal is pending a physical, said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement was not announced.
Holland can make an additional $7 million in performance bonuses. The deal includes an option for 2018 that could become guaranteed.
Yahoo first reported the agreement.
Holland was the Royals closer through most of 2014 and 2015, when they made back-to-back trips to the World Series. He injured his right elbow in late 2015 and missed all of last season while recuperating from Tommy John surgery.
Prior to his injury, the 31-year-old established himself as one of the most dominant closers in the game, posting a 1.21 ERA in 2013 and a 1.44 ERA in `14.
Over those two seasons, Holland converted 93 saves in 98 chances. Holland had a 3.83 ERA with 32 saves in `15 before he was shut down.
He could be the crucial piece as the Rockies try to close the gap on the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Colorado is coming off a 75-87 season, its best record since 2010, and remains a trendy pick for a postseason push with Bud Black taking over as manager.
But a big hurdle standing in the way was a bullpen that blew 28 saves last season and posted a 5.10 ERA - their highest since 2004. Shoring that up was among general manager Jeff Bridich's top priorities this winter and led him to bring in left-handed reliever Mike Dunn, who went 6-1 with a 3.40 ERA in 51 appearances for the Miami Marlins. Bridich hinted that he wasn't done bringing in relievers, with Holland and Joe Blanton on his radar.
Arm willing, the hard-throwing Holland could be in the running for the closer's role with spring training just around the corner. Holland figures to compete with Jake McGee, who had a team-high 15 saves last season, Adam Ottavino - he made big strides in his return from Tommy John surgery - and the youngster Carlos Estevez. Dunn may get a look as well.
One area the team doesn't figure to worry about is a battinf order that boasts leadoff man Charlie Blackmon, NL batting champion DJ LeMahieu, slugger Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado and up-and-comer Trevor Story. The team added offense bringing in All-Star Ian Desmond, who is learning to play first base, and former Padres utility player Alexi Amarista, who reunites with Black.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum and AP Sports Writer Arnie Stapleton contributed to this report.