The Mets were among the teams that sent a scout to right-handed relief pitcher Greg Holland’s showcase on Monday. Formerly the Royals’ closer, Holland had Tommy John surgery early last October following a disappointing-for-him season that saw him finish with a 3.83 ERA and 3.27 FIP.
Before that year, though, Holland was one of the very best relief pitchers in baseball, and it was he who combined with the similarly-dominant Wade Davis to establish the Royals’ bullpen as the one every other team envied. From 2011 through 2014, Holland had a 1.86 ERA and 1.92 FIP with 12.57 strikeouts and 3.20 walks per nine innings. Among qualified relievers over that four-season stretch, Holland’s ERA was the fourth-best in baseball.
As for the showcase, the early returns had his velocity at just 88 to 91 miles per hour. For reference, Holland averaged about 96 miles per hour on his fastball before the 2015 season, according to Brooks Baseball. But he’s still just a little over a year removed from his Tommy John surgery, which makes those velocity readings far from damning.
The Mets entered the offseason with at least some uncertainty in their bullpen despite having Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia under team control for 2017. And then Familia got arrested on domestic violence charges that could—among other things—result in a lengthy suspension from Major League Baseball. So it makes sense that the Mets are looking at the free agent market for relievers, and a rehabbing Holland could be a great fit for any team if he pitches anything like his old self. Holland shouldn’t be considered as sure a thing as some of the other relief pitchers on the market, but it would be welcome news if the Mets were the team with which he attempted his major league comeback.