Giants seal 1-year deal to bring back Holland

Left-hander's $7 million contract includes club option for 2020

January 14th, 2019

After reviving his career with the Giants last year, made it clear that his preference was to remain in San Francisco. On Monday, the reunion became official.
The Giants announced Monday that they re-signed the veteran left-hander to a one-year contract with a club option for 2020. The deal guarantees Holland $7 million, though he can earn up to $15 million if his option is exercised, according to a report from MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
Holland, 32, joined the Giants on a Minor League deal last February after being released by the White Sox in September 2017. After winning a spot on the club's pitching staff as a non-roster invitee, Holland enjoyed an impressive bounceback season with San Francisco, logging a 3.57 ERA with 169 strikeouts over a team-high 171 1/3 innings in '18.
"It was just an easy decision to come back," Holland said during a conference call with reporters. "Basically, I looked at it as resurrecting my career."

Holland credited pitching coach Curt Young and bullpen coach Matt Herges with helping him find adjustments that allowed him to rebound from the 6.20 ERA he posted for the White Sox in 2017. In San Francisco, Holland recorded a career-best 23.3 percent strikeout rate and also held left-handed hitters to a minuscule .440 OPS across 162 plate appearances. The improved performance ultimately secured Holland a nice bump in salary from the $2 million he earned last year.
Holland's return will add some much-needed depth to the Giants' rotation, which had some question marks due to 's rehab from Tommy John surgery and Jeff Samardzija's shoulder issues.
"It was really encouraging to see that he made those 30 starts but also got better and stronger as the season went along," Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. "That's always an encouraging sign when you're looking at the free-agent market of pitchers, guys who finished strong, and obviously, Derek had a terrific second half. From our standpoint in the front office, certainly adding innings, starts and a little bit more of a veteran presence to the pitching staff was important."
Holland is currently projected to slot into the middle of the Giants' rotation, joining , , and Samardzija, who Zaidi said is progressing well in his throwing program. While Zaidi views Holland as a starter, he said he was impressed by Holland's willingness to pitch out of the bullpen. In addition to making 30 starts for the Giants last year, Holland also made six relief appearances.
"The fact that he was willing to take the ball and pitch out of the 'pen even as he was doing well as a starter, I think that showed a level of unselfishness and putting the team first," Zaidi said. You want guys like that on your team. As much as anything, I was just really impressed to hear how anxious and eager he was to help the team out in whatever way he could."

The addition of Holland brings the Giants' 40-man roster to 40 players, though Zaidi expects to continue to be active this offseason as he looks to further bolster the Giants' pitching depth and augment his crop of outfielders.
"Adding more starting pitching depth is still high on our list," Zaidi said. "We've obviously got some other things we're shopping around for, but we're certainly going to be open to adding more on the starting pitching front here in the next month."