Former Red Sox left-hander Derek Holland signs minor-league deal with Blue Jays

Former Red Sox left-hander Derek Holland has signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, per Holland himself on Twitter.

Holland, 35, originally signed a minors pact with the Sox back in March with the hopes of earning a spot in the bullpen out of spring training. After being informed he would not make Boston’s Opening Day roster, the southpaw elected to accept his assignment to Triple-A Worcester to begin the 2022 season.

In 10 appearances with the WooSox, Holland posted a 6.35 ERA and 4.22 FIP with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 11 1/3 innings of work. Interestingly enough, his last two outings came against the Buffalo Bisons (the Triple-A affiliate of the Blue Jays) at Polar Park.

At present, the Red Sox already have three lefties in Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, and Matt Strahm in their major-league bullpen and have one more rehabbing from injury in Josh Taylor. With that, the club must not have felt a pressing need to call up Holland.

As an article XX(B) free agent, Holland had multiple opt-outs in his contract with the Red Sox and exercised one of them this past Sunday, thus allowing him to hit the open market once more.

A veteran of 13 big-league seasons between the Rangers (2009-2016), White Sox (2017), Giants (2018-2019), Cubs (2019), Pirates (2020), and Tigers (2021), Holland will now look to latch on with the Blue Jays in 2022. With Detroit last year,  he pitched to the tune of a 5.07 ERA and 3.96 FIP over 39 appearances (one start) spanning 49 2/3 innings.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Derek Holland opts out of minor-league deal with Red Sox to become free agent

Derek Holland has opted out of his minor-league contract with the Red Sox and is now a free agent, as was first reported by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo earlier Sunday morning.

Holland, 35, originally signed a minor-league deal with Boston back in March with the hopes of earning a bullpen spot with the team out of spring training. When he was informed that he would not be making the Sox’ Opening Day roster, the veteran left-hander elected to remain in the organization and begin the season with Triple-A Worcester.

In 10 relief appearances for the WooSox, Holland posted a 6.35 ERA to go along with 13 strikeouts to seven walks over 11 1/3 innings of work. Given that the Red Sox already have lefties like Austin Davis, Jake Diekman, and Matt Strahm in their bullpen with another southpaw rehabbing from injury in Josh Taylor, adding Holland to the major-league mix was clearly not a priority for the club.

Instead, Holland — who had multiple opt-out clauses in his contract since he was an article XX(B) free agent — will once again hit the open market and look to latch on elsewhere.

A former 25th-round draft pick with 13 seasons of big-league experience under his belt, Holland his pitched for the Rangers (2009-2016), White Sox (2017), Giants (2018-2019), Cubs (2019), Pirates (2020), and Tigers (2021). With Detroit last year, he produced a 5.07 ERA and 3.96 FIP across 39 appearances (one start) spanning 49 2/3 innings.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Kelly O’Connor/sittingstill.smugmug.com)

Derek Holland elects not to opt out of contract with Red Sox, accepts assignment to Triple-A Worcester

After being informed on Saturday that he would not be making the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster, Derek Holland has opted to remain with the organization and report to Triple-A Worcester. Holland’s decision was first reported by NESN’s Will Middlebrooks and was confirmed by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Holland, 35, originally signed a minor-league contract with the Sox that included an invite to major-league spring training on March 21. The veteran left-hander appeared in just one Grapefruit League game for Boston but impressed in that outing, striking out a pair over two scoreless innings of relief against the Twins this past Thursday.

The Red Sox had until Saturday to let Holland know if he would be making their Opening Day roster or not since the southpaw had the ability to opt out of his contract and become a free agent if he were not to make the team.

Following a 7-2 loss to the Pirates at JetBlue Park, Sox manager Alex Cora revealed that Holland would not be making the team, though he was hopeful the Ohio native would accept an assignment with the WooSox.

“We talked with Derek,” Cora said. “We were honest with him. He’s not going to make the team. So we’ll see where he’s at during the weekend. Obviously a lefty. Lefties with a heartbeat, they always have a chance. But no, no. Great impression. Good stuff yesterday. It’s just a matter of where we’re at roster-wise. Being selfish, hopefully he’s there Tuesday in Jacksonville, pitching for Worcester.”

As it turns out, Holland did what Cora hoped he would do and took to Twitter to explain why.

“Took the assignment because I’ve only been able to showcase two innings. All my other games [have] been [on the] backfield and it’s a great organization to be apart of,” Holland tweeted. “So I want to stay and see where this road takes me. Going to be a lot of fun with these guys.”

A former 25th-round draft pick taken out Wallace State Community College by the Rangers in 2006, Holland broke in with Texas in 2009 and spent the first eight years of his big-league career there.

Since his tenure with the Rangers ended in 2016, Holland has bounced around a bit, spending the 2017 season with the White Sox, the 2018 season with the Giants, the 2019 season between the Giants and Cubs, and the 2020 season with the Pirates.

In 2021, Holland appeared in 39 games — one of which was a start — for the Tigers. The 6-foot-2, 223 pound hurler posted a 5.07 ERA and 3.96 FIP to go along with 51 strikeouts to 20 walks over 49 2/3 innings of work with Detroit.

Although he will not be joining the Red Sox in the Bronx for the start of their season on Thursday, Holland should still provide the club with some experienced bullpen depth at the Triple-A level. It would not be surprising to see him up in Boston at some point in 2022, though he would need to be added to the 40-man roster in order for that to happen.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Red Sox option Eduard Bazardo, Darwinzon Hernandez to Triple-A Worcester, inform Derek Holland he will not make Opening Day roster

Following Sunday’s 7-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Pirates at JetBlue Park, the Red Sox made a series of roster moves. First off, right-hander Eduard Bazardo and left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez were both optioned to Triple-A Worcester.

Secondly, right-hander Kaleb Ort, left-hander Derek Holland, outfielder Christin Stewart, and infielder Yolmer Sanchez were all reassigned to minor-league camp.

By cutting these six players from their major-league spring training roster, the Sox now have 34 players at big-league camp in Fort Myers. They will need to make six more cuts before Opening Day against the Yankees in the Bronx on Thursday.

It is undoubtedly surprising to see Hernandez not make Boston’s Opening Day roster, especially when considering the fact that fellow left-hander Josh Taylor is sidelined because of a back injury.

Hernandez, 25, is coming off a 2021 season in which he posted a 3.38 ERA and 4.80 FIP to go along with 54 strikeouts to 31 walks over 48 relief appearances spanning 40 innings of work. The Venezuelan-born southpaw had appeared in just two games this spring, with his most-recent outing coming on March 25.

Bazardo, on the other hand, debuted for the Red Sox last year and made just two appearances at the big-league level. With the Triple-A Worcester, the 26-year-old produced an 8.74 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 12:5 across 11 appearances and 11 1/3 innings pitched.

Though they will start the season with the WooSox, both Bazardo and Hernandez should figure into Boston’s bullpen plans at some point this year.

As for the six non-roster invitees who were reassigned to minor-league camp, Holland is the most notable since he has the most major-league experience as well as the ability to opt out of his deal.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora informed Holland, who inked a minors pact with Boston on March 18, on Saturday that he would not be making the Opening Day roster.

Holland, a veteran of 13 seasons, can now test the free agency waters again if he so chooses, though Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) that the 35-year-old lefty has not made a decision yet.

“We talked with Derek,” Cora said. “We were honest with him. He’s not going to make the team. So we’ll see where he’s at during the weekend. Obviously a lefty. Lefties with a heartbeat, they always have a chance. But no, no. Great impression. Good stuff yesterday. It’s just a matter of where we’re at roster-wise. Being selfish, hopefully he’s there Tuesday in Jacksonville, pitching for Worcester.”

The WooSox, as noted by Smith, open their season against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Tuesday, April 5.

With this round of roster moves completed, the Sox currently have 28 40-man roster players and six non-roster invitees (Franchy Cordero, Tyler Danish, Rob Refsnyder, Hansel Robles, John Schreiber, and Travis Shaw) at camp.

As previously mentioned, Boston still needs to make six more subtractions between now and this coming Thursday. Additional cuts are expected in the coming days.

(Picture of Darwinzon Hernandez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign left-hander Derek Holland to minor-league deal for 2022 season

The Red Sox have signed left-hander Derek Holland to a minor-league contract for the 2022 season, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ Steve Adams. It’s likely the deal includes an invite to major-league spring training.

Holland, 35, was originally selected by the Rangers in the 25th round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Wallace State Community College. The Ohio native debuted for Texas in 2009 and remained there through the end of the 2016 season.

Since then, Holland has bounced around a bit, spending the 2017 season with the White Sox, the 2018 season with the Giants, the 2019 season between the Giants and Cubs, and the 2020 season with the Pirates.

Most recently, Holland made 39 appearances (one start) for the Tigers in 2021. The veteran lefty posted a 5.07 ERA — but more respectable 3.96 FIP — to go along with 51 strikeouts to 20 walks over over 49 2/3 innings pitched with Detroit before becoming a free agent in November.

Listed at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, Holland operates with a four-pitch mix that consists of a sinker, curveball, four-seam fastball, and changeup. He induced a 37.2% whiff rate with his curveball last year, per Baseball Savant.

With 1,466 big-league innings under his belt, Holland becomes the latest southpaw the Red Sox have added to their bullpen mix, albeit on a minors pact. Boston made their signings of Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm official earlier this week.

(Picture of Derek Holland: Duane Burleson/Getty Images)