Is Greg Holland a Possibility?

With Neftali Perez about to be signed by the Brewers (he wants an opportunity to close), the Dodgers are running out of external options for an 8th inning reliever… unless you consider Joe Blanton to still be viable.  He’s had a nice run as a “re-invented” reliever, but can he keep it up?  I’m not so sure.  I believe that Jose De Leon might be an excellent internal option, but he’s also trade bait!  Don’t believe for a minute that the Dozier deal is 100% dead.  Both teams have reasons to want to make it work.

But, if you stop and think about it, the Dodgers might be a perfect spot for Greg Holland to land.  Let’s not forget how good Holland was from 2011 to 2015, when he injured his UCL and had to have Tommy John Surgery.  He was absolutely unhittable during that period until the injury.  His stuff was filthy… absolutely filthy!  He walked few and struck out many and he just needs an opportunity to show what he can do again.  He’s a risk, no question.

I think FAZ can figure out a way to sign and utilize him. Probably a 3 year/$24 million deal with an opt-out after year one.  This is a high-risk/high-reward type of deal… one that FAZ understands all too well.  Greg Holland may very well be at the top of the list for the Dodgers.  I have no expectations, but Greg Holland is a distinct possibility!

The fact is:  the Dodgers may be fine as they are constructed IF they keep De Leon.  I have no idea what FAZ and Roberts are thinking, but I believe that Jose De Leon would be a great set-up man.  It very well may be that they don’t see him that way.  Grant Dayton, Mike Liberatore, Pedro “The Snail” Baez (if he speeds up his delivery), Josh Fields, Alex Wood, Josh Ravin and Jacob Rhame are all internal options.  The Dodgers have plenty of arms, but a “shut-down” setup man would be nice.  If healthy, Holland opts out and signs a big dollar deal, just like we thought Scott Kazmir would.  Yeah Right!  There’s always risk!

Worthwhile Discussion: Eric Stephen of True Blue LA discusses whether First Base is a Problem yesterday.  The answer is No… and Yes!  If A-Gon is the Dodgers #6 hitter, it’s not a problem, even though Cody Bellinger is knocking at the door.  By the All-Star Game, he might be kicking down that door.  The fact are as follows:

  • Adrian Gonzalez has not been a superstar since his first year in Boston.  He has been in decline ever since and in 2016 he put up his lowest OPS in a full season.
  • He has always been slow and clogs the bases.
  • He will be 35 on May, 8th and further decline is likely.
  • A-Gon would be a great #6 hitter, which is why it is important that the Dodgers get a bat like Dozier or Braun.  If he hit’s #4 or #5, that’s a problem.

Hopefully, he comes back from a bad year and has another year where he put up .900+ OPS, but he hasn’t done that since 2011 and it doesn’t seem likely he will do it now.  The cold, hard facts are that if Cody Bellinger is ready by the All-Star break, he might have to play.  At the very least, if healthy, Scott Van Slyke will platoon with Adrian at 1B – Gonzalez hit just .244/.293/.310 against southpaws in 2016.

Photo Credit:  MLB.com

Posted by Mark Timmons

We started LA Dodger Talk in 2001. This site is about giving another perspective outside of the average day-to-day reporting. We don’t do game recaps or such things — lots of sites do that well. I value sabermetrics, but don’t think they are the “end-all-be-all.”. This is where you should start your day as a Dodger Fan. Welcome! We’d like to hear your voice.

This article has 28 Comments

  1. As much as AGon is one of my heroes on the team, I have to say you’re putting this one most realistic. Still most other positions than 1B have more weaknesses, With all the truth in your chosen words I don’t see the need to push yet. If Bellinger proves himself the better, so be it. But that’s quite mountain still.

  2. I like A-Gon… he just needs to be in the #6 hole where he is a big asset, but that means we need another bat.

  3. Thumbs up on giving Holland a try along with others on the 40 man. Thumbs down on Blanton again.

    Agree on Agon. You were calling to move him before it was a popular choice and unless he has a resurgent year he is ours of the duration.

  4. Holland is a very interesting option. However, too many question marks for $24M/3 yrs. Holland wants two years, I would like to see a low minimum salary with lots of incentives. I would also give him his one year opt-out if he insisted. Dodger Stadium, with a top defensive team behind him, is a very good place for Holland to reestablish his value. Additionally, Dodgers with lots of relief pitching depth can afford to give Holland time at beginning of season to get 100% healthy, love to have him healthy for the playoffs. Get it done FAZ.

    I would also like to see Blanton back (one year contract). I think it is entirely possible it is already almost a done deal, FAZ just working the trade market to clear a roster spot and Blanton getting time to possibly get a better deal.

    In any event, lots and lots of options internally.

  5. I would be willing to take a flyer on Holland. It would certainly be nice to have an 8th inning shut down guy that the Dodger could have confidence in. We have some interesting arms available, however, they need to move the confidence meter a little upward. Definitely Baez – he does not give me the warm fuzzies. I’m also not sure what to think about Blanton. In the playoffs, he certainly looked as if though age was catching up with him.

    I’m fine with AGon, as long as he’s used properly. He needs to be rest more than in the past. His days as a #4 hitter are probably behind him, however as the team is currently constructed, he’s the best option. I too would like to see him hit in the 6 hole. Primarily, because he’s so freaking slow and seems to cost us several runs a year because of his station to station running. I understand that he won’t run faster when batting 6th. In that position though, we can waste a sacrifice bunt or two. Unfortunately, we presently have no better cleanup hitter options. Grandal has power, but strikes out to much and Turner is ideally suited for batting 3rd. Let’s see how 2B and Left Field shake out. I think we’ll have an addition or 2 before spring training ends.

    1. Blanton pitched eight innings during the playoffs. Five innings of one hit, no runs, against the Nationals. Outstanding!! Unfortunately he followed that with three innings of seven hit, seven runs against the Cubs. Sickening!!

      Bottom line, I’d like him back on a one year contract. Good guy to have for high leverage situations in sixth and seventh innings. Beef up that bullpen FAZ.

      1. In the next week, I will have a whole column devoted to the bullpen…. which I think is going to be pretty dang good.

  6. I think Holland at the right price can make the PEN very dangerous to other teams. I regards to Agon, I believe that better production from Grandal , Joc , Puig, and whoever plays 2nd. will help mask Agons decline .

  7. It’s all good Mark, true dodger fan , LAD for life, even though in the McCourt era , I replaced the true for TIRED, haha

  8. Mark , LAD not signing utley yet , does it mean that theyre still traying hard to upgrade at the 2nd base position? Don’t they run the risk of having him sign elswere, whats your opinion on that?

    1. Chase Utley should retire. He really could not do it last year and there is no reason to expect anything different this year! I love Chase… but his time has passed.

  9. … The Dozier deal is not dead. They are just not going to include Bellinger, Alvarez, Buehler or Stewart in the deal.

    The Dodgers need Dozier!

    1. Disagree, Dodgers don’t NEED Dozier, Dodger could use Dozier. Dozier would be a very nice pickup, but, I totally support FAZ in not trading any of Bellinger, Alvarez, Buehler or Stewart for him. I am happy to hear FAZ and scouts must be valuing Stewart so highly, I liked what I saw of him last season. I like that FAZ is being “stingy” with the prospects. While I don’t mind trading some for what we need, a recurring problem seems to be everybody wants to rob the Dodgers.

      I do think FAZ will do “something” about 2nd base. Pretty sure they have lots of irons in the stove. If the Twins won’t do DeLeon plus a little something extra. I look long and hard at 27 yr old Saladino, very good fielder and potential offensively. Other thing I look at is Profar, maybe he is Dozier before he becomes Dozier. Rangers need pitching, how about 26 yr old Wood and 29 yr old left handed reliever (they just lost a lefty reliever to injury) Nuno for Profar? Potential for Potential.

      1. The Dodgers are good enough to win the division without Dozier, but what Dozier does is push Gonzalez down in the lineup and strengthen it throughout. I don’t want to see Bellinger, Alvarez, Buehler or Stewart traded either, shoot, I don’t want to see De Leon traded, but he’s the most MLB-ready. Frankly, I’d rather trade Alvarez and Calhoun.

  10. Hello Mark

    I’ve read through your first two threads and it’s good to see LADT back.
    You made reference to some old posters not being welcome, and I’m hoping that I am. If not then no sweat, and no hard feelings.

    I have really enjoyed my experience of following the Dodgers even more since finding your site about 5 years ago, and during the past year, over at LADR.
    It is my intention to be a part of both as I enjoy the chat & the people there.
    The more options the better as far as I’m concerned!

    Good luck anyway.

  11. I did sign up to be Emailed when the new site went live, but wasn’t, so I’ll leave it to your discretion.

    1. Watford, with the renewed LADT, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you directly and hope that we can move past my blow up last year.

      1. AC – really appreciate your words and you taking the time.
        Agree totally that it’s time to move on, and shall look forward to reading your well informed analysis, especially with regards to our Minor League system where you no equal.

  12. I have been an advocate for Greg Holland for some time. He gives LAD the chance for a lock down 8th inning that none of the existing members of the roster have. He is the poster child for a FAZ high risk high reward sign. Give him the Brian Wilson contract. Kazmir may not have showed enough to opt out. I thought it was a good risk. It just did not work out…yet. The reward is worth the financial risk. But my thoughts always go to…but what if it did. He is earmarked to be #5, so maybe he works out this year; maybe not. What I like about FAZ is that they do not seem to be fazed by the transactions that do not go as planned. It’s easy to trade a Urias or Seager as a center piece for Hamels, but Andrew has been very patient and very good at finding the nugget. Dayton for Chris Reed; Liberatore and De Jong for international signing bonus; Toles for nothing. And I do not need to be reminded of all those that did not work. Just keep getting back on that horse.

    RHRP – Jansen, Stripling, Nuno, Baez, Hatcher, Ravin, Fields; LHRP – Dayton, Liberatore, Avilan, Wood. LHRP looks to be good. It would appear that Avilan is the likely choice to get moved back to OKC. Dayton and Liberatore showed enough to be staples in the pen, and Wood becomes the LH version of Blanton. Holland immediately upgrades the righties. The list does not include De Leon or Stewart, as I believe that with options remaining they go back to OKC so that they can get lengthened out and where their IP can be monitored. They get called up as needed or one or the other gets packaged for the RH bat that is needed. Which of the RHRP get moved? Stripling becomes Joe Blanton, so who what happens to the others; pluses and minuses on all. Some more pluses, some more minuses. I do believe the bullpen is solid, but with Holland it can be elite.

    1. First, Good to see you AlwaysCompete. Second, Nuno is a lefty (and should be trade bait), Third, just the name “Brian Wilson scares me, let alone using it in the same sentence as contract. I too would love to see Holland, but, believe this is an area where FAZ shines, getting creative with contracts. I hope they come to some mutually beneficial agreement at less money if Holland is toast.

      Lastly, yeah the FAZ haters love to forget about Dayton, Liberatore and De Jong. They even criticize the Grandal trade, Unbelievable.

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