The Colorado Rockies are expected to make a long-term play for Greg Holland, who was a big success his first year in Colorado.
Holland will decline his $17.4 million qualifying offer — no surprise there after also turning down his $15 million option – and is expected to be pursued by several teams, including possibly the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and others.
However, the Rockies want to maintain their deep bullpen, which was one of their pluses that enabled them to become a surprise wild-card team in 2017. And they are said to believe Holland is the right leader for their young team and staff.
Holland had a huge first half before seeming to run out of gas in the second half during his return year following his Tommy John surgery. Overall though, he put up fine numbers after missing all of 2016, including a 3.61 ERA that was much lower for the large majority of the season before those August struggles. The soon-to-be-32-year-old right-hander struck out 11 batters per nine innings while walking only 4.1 and saved an NL-best 41 games for the Rockies while earning his third career All-Star Game nod.
While Holland will draw strong outside interest, he is believed to love Colorado, and it was his close ties to the Rockies that led him there in the first place. He knew pitching coach Steve Foster from his Royals days, and is a North Carolina neighbor of bullpen coach Darren Holmes.
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