Cincinnati Reds: Could Derek Holland be added to the starting rotation?

Would veteran pitcher Derek Holland be a viable starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds?

We aren’t even to Thanksgiving, but it appears that the Hot Stove League is already preheated. For the Cincinnati Reds, the offseason goal is to acquire or trade for starting pitching in order to improve upon the Achilles heel of a porous starting rotation.

MLBTradeRumors.com recently predicted the Reds to re-sign Matt Harvey. The website is also predicting that the Reds could target left-handed free agent, Derek Holland. The article claims the Cincinnati Reds could acquire Holland for a two-year $15M contract.

Holland had 30 starts for the San Francisco Giants in 2018, posting a 7-9 record with a 3.67 ERA. Holland has a career record of 76-73 in his 10-year Major League career, with eight of those seasons having been spent in Texas, where he was 62-50.

He was 38-21 between 2011 and 2013 with the Rangers, having started 92 games. Holland’s career best season came in 2011 when he went 16-5 in 32 games with a 3.95 ERA. He encountered injury problems in 2014 and 2015

Holland had a slight rebound in 2016 with 20 starts and a 7-9 record, as his ERA crept to nearly 5. His career low came in 2017 as he was sent to the purgatory of the Chicago White Sox. He went 7-14 with a 6.20 ERA during his one season on the south side of Chicago.

Holland, a native of Newark, Ohio, is not necessarily the marquee name that some are clamoring for such as J.A. Happ, Dallas Keuchel, or Gio Gonzalez. However, he does have playoff and World Series experience during his stint in Texas. Between 2010 and 2015, Holland made 14 postseason appearances, starting five of those games, and posting a combined 5.02 ERA.

Having a left-hander in the starting rotation would be of significance for the Cincinnati Reds. Efforts to make lefties Brandon Finnegan and Cody Reed solid contributors to the starting rotation have not gone as planned, although Reed showed a lot of upside coming out of the bullpen when he was recalled from Louisville in late 2018.

At the same time, I am cautious too realizing that neither Danny Jackson or Tom Browning aren’t walking through the door. However, for two-year and $15M contract, this would seem to be a potential win-win for both the Reds and Derek Holland.

A Derek Holland acquisition, along with a signing of Matt Harvey, would set the stage for an improved Reds rotation. I am sure that new pitching coach, Derek Johnson, has his own ideas of what the rotation would be.

Next: New hitting coach brings the lumber

This Reds blogger could see a rotation of Harvey, Anthony DeSclafani, Holland, Luis Castillo, and Homer Bailey with Mahle or Lorenzen waiting in the wings to take Homer’s spot. Suddenly the Cincinnati Reds, at least on paper, look to be competitive.