The Nationals have an agreement on a minor-league deal with reliever Greg Holland, pending a physical, a source confirmed Monday night.
Holland was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 9 following a bumpy season with a 4.54 ERA and 17 saves. Signing Holland gives the Nationals another veteran arm to tap in what has become a transformed bullpen the last two weeks. Washington added three relievers — Daniel Hudson, Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elías — at the trade deadline July 31.
If Holland passes his physical, he is expected to start work with the organization in the minor leagues, either at Double-A Harrisburg or Triple-A Fresno. It will also mark his second time being part of the Nationals.
Holland came to Washington as a giant reclamation project in 2018 after failing in St. Louis. He pitched well, relying heavily on his slider to aid a bullpen which needed reinforcements.
Holland’s 0.84 ERA in 21 1/3 innings for Washington enabled him to find a $3.25 million contract last offseason in Arizona.
The 33-year-old has 206 career saves and his strikeout rate remains high. His FIP from Arizona is in line with his ERA, suggesting Holland’s subpar work this season was less about bad luck and more about bad execution. His walk rate was 6.1 per nine innings with Arizona.
But, he is a low-risk option for a Nationals bullpen continuing to evolve.
The Nationals repeatedly have cycled through relievers in a bid to fix things, including getting rid of two offseason acquisitions the club hoped would offer late-game assistance: Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough.
Among the pitchers added during the course of the season are Fernando Rodney, Jonny Venters and three trade-deadline pickups: Daniel Hudson, Hunter Strickland and Roenis Elias, who is currently on the injured list.