Join Scout today and get access to our Weekly Closer Report, Waiver Wire Pickups, Rankings, DFS insight and more! Use Promo Code: RONIS and get three months for the price of one!
Colorado Rockies Sign Greg Holland
The shelf life for elite closers is short and Greg Holland once sat in that tier. He's hoping to return to that level in Colorado after signing a one-year, $7 million deal with incentives that could get the deal to $14 million.
Many people are assuming Holland will be the closer. Colorado isn't the ideal landing spot and other teams needed a closer. Holland had a 1.86 ERA and a 358/91 K/BB ratio in 256.1 innings from 2011-14. He saved 47 games in 2013 and 46 the next season. He saved 32 games in 2015, but was limited to 44.2 innings and clearly wasn't the same and had Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the 2016 season.
Holland has a career 0.45 HR/9 but pitching in Kansas City is way different than Coors Field. Holland was averaging 95-96 miles per hour with his fastball that decreased to 93.6 miles per hour in 2015. The spring will be key for Holland.
Many are going to draft Holland assuming he's the closer and his price tag will increase each day in drafts. Adam Ottavino and Jake McGee have closing experience, too.
Washington would have been a better landing spot for the Nationals, who need a closer. Why did they pass on him? Were they not pleased with the medicals? If you're Holland and want to prove yourself on a one-year deal, is Colorado the place to go?
Holland had a showcase for scouts in November and wasn't close to the 96 miles per hour he was throwing in his dominant seasons. Holland said he wanted to show he was healthy and could locate his fastball.
It would seem Holland will close if he's healthy, but I would rather let someone take Holland early and wait to draft Ottavino. He didn't pitch much last season following Tommy John surgery. Ottavino looked well on his way to a dominant season in 2015. In 10 games, he pitched 10.1 scoreless innings and allowed three hits, two walks and struck out 13. Then he had an elbow injury leading to the surgery.
Ottavino returned late in the season pitching 27 innings in 34 games. He had a 2.67 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and a 35/7 K/BB radio. He's a groundball pitcher and has a career 29.9 percent fly ball rate. His velocity went from 95.7 miles per hour on his fastball in 2015 to 93.8 last season.
Holland will get a shot to close, but don't ignore Ottavino in drafts. He will be cheaper and has the chance to close.
David Robertson Not a Lock to Remain Closer
It is clear based on the moves in the off-season that the White Sox are rebuilding and replenishing the minor league system. Chris Sale and Adam Eaton have already been traded and David Robertson could be next.
Robertson has two years left on his contract and it makes sense for the White Sox to trade him. If you're doing an early draft or a draft champions league where there are no moves for the season and the team you draft is what you have, there is risk in taking Robertson. There's no guarantee he will close on his new team.
More importantly, this may make Nate Jones an excellent pick. Even if he doesn't close early on, he could help fantasy teams and close at any point in the season. Jones will be cheap for now and he has excellent skills to succeed as closer.
Jones pitched 70.2 innings last season, allowing 48 hits, 15 walks and struck out 80 with a 2.29 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. Robertson limits fly balls with a career 31.6 percent rate. He averaged almost 97 miles per hour with the fastball and had a swinging strike rate of 14.3 percent last season.