One day into the winter meetings and the Detroit Tigers stayed quiet. Rumblings have emerged however of potential deals the Tigers could make this week. As reported by Jason Beck of MLB.com, the Tigers are still kicking the tires on starting pitching. One named Beck suggested the Tigers could have interest in is left-handed starter Derek Holland.
Holland pitched last season with the Chicago White Sox, posting a 6.20 ERA in 26 starts. He spent the majority of his career in a Texas Rangers uniform where he touted a 4.35 ERA and pitched eight shut out games. He has not won 10 games in a season since his 2013 campaign with the Rangers.
Holland would add depth to a Tigers rotation that has spots up for grabs. He would likely join recently acquired starter Mike Fiers as an additional reclamation project on the Tigers pitching staff.
If pitching coach Chris Bosio can get Holland to limit his walks, Holland may be worth taking a flier on. While his strike out totals have never been particularily high, his walk rate reach five for the first time in his career last season. He also boasted his highest strikeout rate since 2013 last season, 6.9 SO/9.
Nicknamed “the Dutch Oven”, Holland would likely come on the cheap. If he was to get a major league deal, it should not be more expensive than the one-year, $6 million contract Fiers signed.
Best case scenario, Holland would be a low risk gamble, provide much needed veteran depth, eat innings, and if all things go as planned, fetch a small return at the trade deadline. Put your feelings from the 2011 ALCS behind you and wait to see if this becomes anything more than a rumor.