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Royals, closer Holland agree on one-year deal

All-Star set franchise record with 47 saves in 50 opportunities last season

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Closer Greg Holland, representing the last of the Royals' arbitration cases, signed his contract on Wednesday.

Holland agreed to a 2014 salary of $4.675 million, a hefty increase from the $539,500 he earned last season. Holland had filed for $5.2 million, and the club's original offer was $4.1 million. In addition, if he repeats as an All-Star Game selection, he'll get a $50,000 bonus.

The deal kept general manager Dayton Moore's arbitration slate clean. Since taking over his Royals post in June 2006, no salary case has gone to a hearing, where a panel must decide on either the club's offer or the player's request. So far in Moore's tenure, each case has been settled on middle ground.

Holland was on the American League All-Star team for the first time in 2013 as he headed toward a club-record 47 saves in 50 chances. He broke the mark of 45, shared by Dan Quisenberry (1983) and Jeff Montgomery ('93).

In addition, Holland finished with a 1.31 ERA, besting Montgomery's 1.37 in 1989 as the club record for relievers.

Holland led AL relievers with 103 strikeouts in 67 innings. That tied Jim York's 1971 team mark (achieved in 93 1/3 innings) for a reliever. In fact, Holland's average of 13.84 strikeouts per nine innings was the best all-time among AL pitchers with at least 60 innings.

Holland was named the Royals' Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The most recent Royals player to to an arbitration hearing was outfielder Emil Brown in the winter of 2006, when Allard Baird was still Kansas City's GM. Brown won, getting $1.775 million instead of the club's offer of $1.4 million.

This year, all eight players who were eligible for arbitration agreed to terms. In addition to Holland, they were pitchers Luke Hochevar, Aaron Crow and Tim Collins, first baseman Eric Hosmer, outfielders Justin Maxwell, catcher Brett Hayes and recently released infielder-outfielder Emilio Bonifacio.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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