It wouldn’t be too big a stretch to say that closer Greg Holland was the Rockies’ MVP over the first half of the 2017 season. His unflappable presence and ability to close out tight games pushed the Rockies to one of their best starts in franchise history. What’s more, Holland helped a young team believe in itself. From April 3 to June 9, he converted 23 consecutive save opportunities, posting a 1.14 ERA. By June 20, the Rockies were 47-26, held first place in the National League West and Holland’s save count was up to 25. “He knows what he’s doing,” manager Bud Black raved at the time. “He knows how to pitch the ninth inning, regardless of situation, regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the conditions, he knows how to pitch the ninth inning. He’s a pro, that’s the thing about Greg that’s comforting for us.” Now, however, the Rockies might have to find a new closer who can give them late-game security. The club’s success or failure in this offseason game could well determine their fate in 2018. Though Holland hasn’t officially rejected his $15 million player option, the veteran right-hander is expected to do that en route to becoming a free agent. The Rockies likely will make a strong play to re-sign Holland, who tied a franchise record with 41 saves, but there are no guarantees he’ll be back. That leaves general manage Jeff Bridich facing major decisions when the hot-stove season heats up after the World Series. The following is an analysis of some of the Rockies’ options at closer: Re-sign Holland: The logistics of such a strategy could begin with Colorado offering Holland a one-year, $18.1 million qualifying offer. Holland would most likely turn down the offer, which means the Rockies would receive a high pick in the 2019 draft should he sign with another team. But even if Holland rejected the qualifying offer, the Rockies could still make a push to re-sign him on the free-agent market. Bridich, who doesn’t reveal much about his team-building blueprint, said: “I do believe we will be in touch with Holland’s representatives about next year, assuming he formally turns down his player option with us.” How much would it cost to bring Holland back? That’s difficult to say. A starting point could be the four-year, $62 million contract San Francisco gave closer Mark Melancon last winter. That breaks down to an average of $15.5 million per season. Holland made $15 million with the Rockies in 2017 after meeting all of his contract incentives.
Greg Holland is part of Rockies’ search for a closer, but there are other options
Denver Post | Oct 30