According to Scott Lauber of ESPN Boston, it appears that the Boston Red Sox have openly discussed signing ex-Kansas City Royals' closer Greg Holland to a major league deal that would slot him in as a setup man in their bullpen. Holland, who hasn't pitched since 2015, could sign during the Winter Meetings.
Lauber has asked Royals manager Ned Yost about the possibility of Greg Holland returning to form, with Yost's answer being the following:
"I don't know if he will ever be what he was ... and I mean, stuff-wise, 97-98 mph. But the thing about Greg Holland is I've never met anybody that's more of a fierce, fearless competitor than he was. When you have that in your DNA, you can get by at 92-93 mph. It wouldn't surprise me that he gets back to being the dominant guy."
Holland, 31, was dominant for the Royals between 2011 and 2014, as Holland acquired a total of 113 saves, all while pitching to a 15-9 record with a 1.86 ERA in 246 appearances for the Royals. Holland also recorded a 12.6 K/9 rate during that span.
However, in 2015, Holland pitched the whole season with a torn UCL in his right elbow, leading to a dismal 3.83 ERA and Tommy John surgery. The Royals released Holland the following year, but did cite the possibility for a reunion at the time.
There is a possibility that Holland could return to the upper-90's on his four-seam fastball, but the most likely scenario is that he loses anywhere from 3 to 5 miles per hour. Holland also throws a slider, as well as a curveball and a splitter.