The Kansas City Royals have stated that they plan to contend in the near future. They are sticking to their word by signing Greg Holland.
When Dayton Moore and the Kansas City Royals said that they felt they were close to contending, it was an interesting statement. The Royals had finished fourth in the AL Central after all, and had not appeared to have finished their rebuilding process. There were plenty of questions in the lineup and their young arms were still unproven. The Royals seemed to be a year away from contending at best.
But Moore and the Royals have been putting their money where their mouth is. Mike Minor was signed to shore up the rotation. Carlos Santana solved a hole at first base, and fulfilled the Royals desire to add players that can get on base.
That quest to contend continued as the Royals signed Greg Holland on Monday. He received a one year deal worth $2.75 million with the chance to earn another $1.5 million in incentives.
After two disappointing seasons, Holland rebounded in his second stint with the Royals. He posted a 1.91 ERA and a 0.953 WHiP in 28.1 innings, striking out 31 batters with seven walks. Holland even reclaimed his spot as the Royals closer following the trade of Trevor Rosenthal, finishing second on the team with six saves.
His presence adds to what is an intriguing bullpen in Kansas City. Holland would presumably line up as the closer, heading up a group that includes Kyle Zimmer, Josh Staumont, and Jesse Hahn. The bullpen could be a strength for the Royals, just as it had been during their run of success in the mid 2010s.
These moves are likely not enough to contend in the AL Central. The White Sox have continued to improve, and the Indians still have a formidable rotation. But the Royals should be competitive this season, and may creep closer to .500. It is a matter of taking steps forward.
Signing Greg Holland continues to move the Kansas City Royals closer to that goal. More work needs to be done, but he is another step in the right direction.