Theres a chance that Royals closer Greg Holland will mess up general manager Dayton Moores perfect streak.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
Since being hired as Royals general manager, Moore has yet to have a players contract determined in salary arbitration. But salary arbitration hearings are being held through Feb. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Holland filed for arbitration last month.
While its been reported that a half-dozen players dates have been set (including the Indians and Vinnie Pestano, who will meet before an arbitrator on Friday), there has been no word on when Hollands hearing is scheduled.
Hollands agent at Turner Gary Sport wrote in an email, The hearing date is confidential. Both parties (MLBPA and LRD) have agreed to this.
Thats the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Labor Relations Department.
For his part, Holland is not concerned about his contract.
Its one of those things where both sides will get a point where were comfortable and hopefully well get it done sooner than later, Holland said.
Holland, the Royals Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year award winner in 2013 after setting a team record with 47 saves, requested $5.2 million in arbitration, while the Royals countered with $4.1 million.
If the three-person panel decides on the salary, it must pick either Hollands request or the Royals offer. It cant split the difference.
Last year, Holland was paid $539,500 and he had a 1.21 ERA with an 0.87 WHIP and 103 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched. He was an All-Star and received votes for the Cy Young and MVP awards.
Moore previously said hed be open to a long-term contract with Holland, who will also be eligible for arbitration after the next two seasons as well. He will be a free agent following the 2016 season.
Its our desire to keep many of our good players here long-term, if we can do that, Moore said last week. Gregs no different. Every negotiation has its own set of circumstances and well see what happens.
Initially, Holland declined to speculate about a long-term deal.
I dont really think thats something Im comfortable with discussing at the moment, he said. Im letting my agent take care of that and however it plays out, it plays out.
Pressed about it, Holland admitted he would be happy to work out a multi-year contract.
Would everyone in that room like to be here for a long time for their whole career? Yeah, Holland said. Is that going to happen? Probably not.
Even if Holland should lose his case before an arbitration panel, he will be getting a raise of more than $3 million this season. Thats to be expected for a closer who is arguably the best in the American League.
After the All-Star break last season, Holland had a 0.56 ERA with 25 saves and a WHIP of 0.81. Still, he wasnt satisfied.
From a team standpoint, I thought it would go better, Holland said. I really thought we had a playoff-caliber team. I think toward the end of the year, we kind of proved that. We had that big skid in May that kind of killed us in the end. We were just too far back. But you dont ever expect anything but the best from yourself and the team.
Those gaudy statistics? Holland always thinks they could be better.
As a competitor you dont ever feel satisfied, Holland. I think as you kind of get that complacency, youre probably on your way out the door. I really dont care what my numbers are, I just want to go out there and help us win ballgames. Thats how I measure my success.
If we make it to the playoffs this year and make a run in the playoffs, then I can tell you right now regardless of my numbers its going to be a successful season.