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Holland named Sporting News' comeback player

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- By a decisive vote of his league peers, Rockies closer Greg Holland was named Tuesday as winner of Sporting News' 2017 Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Holland, 31, who missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, tied a club record with 41 saves and appeared in the All-Star Game. Holland earned 33 of the 88 votes from National League players. The Cardinals' Lance Lynn finished in second place, with 20 votes. Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds finished sixth with four votes.

DENVER -- By a decisive vote of his league peers, Rockies closer Greg Holland was named Tuesday as winner of Sporting News' 2017 Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Holland, 31, who missed last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, tied a club record with 41 saves and appeared in the All-Star Game. Holland earned 33 of the 88 votes from National League players. The Cardinals' Lance Lynn finished in second place, with 20 votes. Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds finished sixth with four votes.

Holland's former Royals teammate, third baseman Mike Moustakas, earned the American League version of the award.

Holland also is a finalist for NL Comeback Player in the Players Choice Awards, which are a function of the MLB Players Association. The Brewers' Eric Thames and the Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman are the other finalists.

Holland had helped the Royals appear in the World Series in 2014 and before his injury, he was a key factor in the Royals returning to the postseason in 2015 and eventually winning the World Series. Holland's surgery occurred at the end of the regular season in '15.

Holland converted 34 of his first 35 save opportunities, and ended up tying Jose Jimenez's 2002 club record for saves in a season. Holland struggled late in the Rockies' 11-8 NL Wild Card loss to the D-backs, but his overall body of work earned him the award.

The Rockies signed Holland to a one-year contract, and the righty easily met the performance thresholds to earn a player option. Holland is expected to turn down that option and become a free agent. The Rockies are expected to make a qualifying offer valued at $18.1 million. Holland most likely will turn the offer down, which means the Rockies will receive a pick in the 2019 MLB Draft if he signs elsewhere. But still, even if Holland turns down the qualifying offer, the Rockies are still expected to make a push for him on the free-agent market.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Greg Holland