Billy Eppler has already done quite a bit of work this winter. He made the first trade of the offseason, sending Victor Alcantara to the Tigers in exchange for left fielder Cameron Maybin. Of course there was also the Jesse Chavez and Ben Revere acquisitions, as well as the Andrew Bailey signing, and bringing Danny Espinosa into the fold.
There haven’t been any big splashes, sure, but Eppler has been out there grinding, finding pieces that, on paper, suggest they are good fits for the Halos; the 2017 team, as is, is shaping up to look like they’ll be competitive, if all goes as planned and people stay healthy.
Still, there is work to be done, and perhaps no more important role needs to be filled than closer. Now, the Angels have Huston Street in the mix, but we’re not even sure what to expect out of him any more. And yes, there’s also Cam Bedrosian, but it may not be time for him to step into that starring role of the bullpen, no matter how successful he was in 2016.
If they were to stray away from Street, then they’re going to most likely hit the free agent market to find their closer. The big reliever stars are already off the market, with guys like Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon already getting big, big paydays. Of the guys left, there are some familiar names (some TOO familiar), but perhaps none are as intriguing as Greg Holland.
Anybody who follows baseball is most likely quite familiar with Holland, a dominant righty who helped lead the Royals to the World Series in ‘14, and who also helped them win the entire thing the following season. The guy has a career ERA of 2.42 and xFIP of 2.65. He confounds batters, and barely allows any hard hit balls, let alone contact. In short: he’s a really, really good reliever.
What’s the rub? Holland is coming off a tough injury (UCL tear) that had him miss the entire ‘16 season, so there’s a bit of a question mark there. He will most likely be looking for a one-year deal, to pump up his numbers and his market value again, and what better place to land for a year than the Big A?
But what would it take to get him, and do the Angels have money they could throw his way? We had a nice piece on the team’s current payroll situation the other day, in which our very own Rahul Setty affirms that the team does indeed have a nice chunk of change to play with.
Holland has had some suitors already, like Colorado and Pittsburgh, apparently, not to mention the Royals possibly making an offer to keep him in Kansas City. But if the Angels want to strengthen up their bullpen by adding a legit closer, then why not make a call to Holland’s agent? I guess it all depends on their faith in Huston Street. Mine is almost non-existent, at this point, but that’s just me.
C’mon, Billy Eppler. $3 million for one year, plus some incentives thrown in, or something in that ballpark, for Greg Holland. Do it.