After spending the Winter Meetings making moves to acquire players to help the team down the road, the White Sox made a move for next season on Tuesday afternoon signing pitcher Derek Holland to a one year deal.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 14, 2016
Holland is a 30-year-old left hander, who has spent his entire career with the Texas Rangers. He compiled a 62-50 record with a 4.35 ERA over eight seasons in Texas. From 2011-2013 Holland went 38-21 with a 3.98 ERA and posted six complete game shutouts, four coming in the 2011 season. He also averaged nearly 200 innings per year over that span.
But over the last three years Holland has been hit with the injury bug, appearing in just 38 total games (35 starts). Last year he was able to make 20 starts and throw 107.1 innings, his most since 2013.
This is a pretty low risk move for the White Sox, who will likely have some vacant spots in the starting rotation that will need filling. Chris Sale has already been moved and the team is continuing to shop Jose Quintana. The loss of those two workhorses will need to be offset somehow, so enter Derek Holland on a one year deal. Signings like this also help from putting the Sox in a position where they need to use their young arms more than they would like in order to cover enough innings to get them through the season.
There is also the possibility that the Sox can turn Holland into something later in the season. If he is able to stay healthy and pitch decently, there could be a market for him at the trade deadline. Teams are always looking for pitching, especially left-handed pitching. Even though Holland himself probably wouldn’t bring back more than a minor prospect, if he was lumped into a deal with say, Melky Cabrera or Todd Frazier, then you might be looking at a decent return.
There will likely be more moves like this for the Sox in the coming months as they head into an obvious rebuilding season, so it isn’t worth getting too worked up over any of them. Ultimately, if Holland does or doesn’t work out, it isn’t going to affect what the Sox do long term.