The Milwaukee Brewers should take a gamble on Greg Holland


The Milwaukee Brewers are in the market for relief pitching, they should make a run at Greg Holland.

It has been widely reported that the Milwaukee Brewers are looking to add relief helpGreg Holland represents a high upside (but very risky) option to close out games. John Heyman, of Fanrag sports is reporting that the Brewers are among the teams with interest in the former Kansas City Royals relief ace. Heyman also states that Holland is seeking a two-year deal with a 1 year opt out.

As I have stated before, the market for elite relievers is at an all time high. I have even advocated overpaying for a relief ace with the express purpose of trading them at the deadline. Holland might represent a good “buy low” option for the crew.

Signing Greg Holland would be high risk, with potentially high reward. He did not pitch at all in 2016 and is coming off of a significant injury (Tommy John surgery). His career numbers are sparkling. Holland has amassed an ERA of 2.42 with a FIP of 2.65 over his career. When healthy, he was one of the best relievers in baseball since 2012. If Holland could pitch anywhere close to his career average, the Brewers could have a bargain on their hands.

The question is what is Greg Holland worth right now? Especially given the fact that he wants a 2 year deal with an opt out. Today, Santiago Casilla is reported to have signed a 2 year, 11 million dollar deal with Oakland, I would guess Holland would want somewhere in the neighborhood of this deal. It’s not a perfect comparison, Casilla is older, not coming off of a major injury, and has never been as good as Holland. Holland is less of a sure thing though. It is possible that the 31-year-old Holland may never regain his form.

So Hypothetically, lets say the deal is 2 years, 10 million with an opt out.

Best case scenario.

Holland regains previous form, and is his old dominant self. The Brewers can trade him at the deadline for more young controllable talent. They should get a decent return from a contender even if he is just a rental (after opt out).

Worst case scenario.

Holland stinks, can not be traded, and takes up a roster spot in 2017 and 2018. Or the Brewers just cut ties with him and eat the salary.

Middle case scenario.

Holland is not good enough to trade, but not bad enough to give up on. In this case the process of him trying to build his value can be repeated in 2018 if he does not opt out.

Regardless of how it would play out, I think the upside outweighs the risk. The Brewers have plenty of payroll flexibility and a sunk cost of 10 million would not break the bank. If the signing pays off the Brewers could turn a 10 million dollar gamble into more young controllable talent that David Stearns covets.

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