Sunday, February 9, 2014

Greg Holland Extension Comparables

Dayton Moore's undefeated streak is in jeopardy. He has never went to arbitration, but at this points there is a growing belief that he could head down that path with Greg Holland, following the closer's fantastic 2013 campaign which saw him record 47 saves, 3.2 fWAR, a 1.21 ERA, and 103 strikeouts in 67 innings.

What we know is that the Royals have offered $4.1 million and Holland's camp has countered at $5.2 million. However, given Moore's arbitration track record, as well as his history of signing players to extensions, I can't help but wonder if the true hold up is that the sides are attempting to tie up the loose ends of a long term contract.

Here's what Holland had to say about the possibility:
"Would everyone in that room like to be here for a long time for their whole career? Yeah. Is that going to happen? Probably not."
 I'm sure Holland would be willing to sign a deal to stay in Kansas City, but that will depend on the size of the contract. So what might it take to keep Holland in Kansas City? Let's take a look at a couple of pretty good comparables, both of which were at similar points in regards to their service time clocks.

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Prior to signing his extension after the 2008 season, Joakim Soria had posted a 2.05 ERA over 136.1 professional innings. During that time he had compiled 59 saves with a strikeout to walk ratio of 141 to 38. The deal that Soria signed was to pay out $1 million in year one, $3 million in year two, $4 in year three, then team options for years four through six at $6 million, $8 million, and $8.75 million.

Roughly three years later, Sergio Santos signed a remarkably similar deal. In his first two seasons, Santos threw 115 innings for the Chicago White Sox and recorded a 3.29 ERA, 31 saves, and a 148 to 55 strikeout to walk ratio. That deal was to pay Santos $1 million in the first year, $2.75 million in the second, and $3.75 in the third. The deal then offered three consecutive team options for $6 million, $8 million, and $8.75 million a piece.

Greg Holland has pitched in quite a bit more innings than either of the previously mentioned pitchers. At this point he has thrown 212.2 innings with a 2.41 ERA, 67 saves, and 291 strikeouts to 79 walks. Performance wise, he is a better pitcher at a similar stage he is a better pitcher than Santos, but a slightly behind Soria. Of course, the Royals will also have to pay extra for the longer track record that Holland provides in comparison to the aforementioned closers.

Obviously, Holland isn't going to sign for a deal that only pays him $1 million in 2014. However, I could see a deal that is similar to the above but guarantees more and buys out a little less control. I might venture a guess like $4 million for 2014, $6 million for 2015, $8 million for 2016, $8.75 team option for 2017, and a $9.5 million team option for 2018.

This type of deal would provide cost certainty for the Royals, while also allowing them the option of controlling Holland for a couple of extra seasons. For Holland he would be guaranteed $18 million over the next three seasons, an excellent haul for a first time arbitration eligible reliever.

What do you guys think? Are you comfortable committing that sort of coin to a reliever?

If you are of the opinion that the Royals should try and sell high on Holland, keep in mind that this sort of deal wouldn't prohibit that. Then the question would become, if Holland signed this extension would he be a more attractive asset? I have to think that many teams would consider these terms a bargain.

What do you think Royals nation?

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