Royals Should Wade into the Closing Role Reviewed by Momizat on . Yes I know the Kansas City Royals have one of, if not the best closers in all of baseball in Greg Holland. Unfortunately for the Royals they also have a closer Yes I know the Kansas City Royals have one of, if not the best closers in all of baseball in Greg Holland. Unfortunately for the Royals they also have a closer Rating: 0
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Royals Should Wade into the Closing Role

Royals Should Wade into the Closing Role

Yes I know the Kansas City Royals have one of, if not the best closers in all of baseball in Greg Holland. Unfortunately for the Royals they also have a closer that is getting increasingly expensive during the arbitration process every year. As a small market team with payroll concerns always on their mind the Royals must constantly be looking for places they can get production for minimal salary figures. Where can the Royals find cost savings in the bullpen?

Greg  Holland

Increasing Wade Davis leverage usage is one way. Yes I am a person who was extremely disappointed by Wade’s ability in the rotation but he’s been outstanding in the bullpen and could make the Wil Myers trade palatable from a fan perspective if he could take over that closer role. Increasing Wade’s usage some also drives down Greg Holland’s saves that he can pile up which in turn directly effects Holland’s salary arbitration figure pushing it down just a tad. If Davis can workout in the role then the Royals have the ability to trade Holland away for a bat that they are desperately in need of.

To no one’s surprise the Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays figured out that if they can find closers with fixed salary rates, even expensive ones like Jim Johnson at $10m, they can keep their younger arbitration eligible relievers salary figures down. Like the Royals those teams have young talented bullpen arms in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings that are pretty special and relatively cheap. With Wade Davis striking out hitters at over a 40% clips (44.7) and keeping runners off the bases at a sub 1 WHIP then the Royals have a possible closer with fixed salary numbers in the future much like Johnson and Grant Balfour. Owed $25M (7,8 and 10) over the next three years the Royals have a cost certainty closer, a player that is too expensive to keep in a set up role and a closer that is almost certainly to be less expensive than Greg Holland.

The time is now however as the Royals need to find out if Davis can do the job. How they can do that without angering Holland is anyones guess but it should be done. Perhaps Ned should use Holland a tad more pushing him into tie games in late innings or use him in games that don’t require a save situation. From that perspective then he won’t be available during situations that require a closer. Another way is to use Davis into a few of those non-save 9th inning spots It’s a slippery slope and could require Ned to look like a goat in front of fans but if the front office and he are on the same page it shouldn’t matters as it’s a role that the Royals need to find out if Davis can fill.

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About The Author

I grew up on the mean gravel roads of Iowa where I started my love for baseball from the age of 2. George Brett and the voice of Denny Matthews deepened my love even more for the Royals as my father and I spent summers listening to the team on our deck or in the car on our way to or from my little league and high school games. Sports was always the common bond that my father and I enjoyed and the Royals were in the center of that.I currently live in La Vista with my wife, two sons, two dogs and a pair of gross cats where we are grinding through until we can move somewhere warm when we retire. I own Casino Cab Company and Bluffs Affordable Auto Repair in Council Bluffs trying to build my 1% empire. If you are in the area you can find me at Omaha Storm Chasers games on most nights or just follow me on twitter @ClintScoles.

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Comments (4)

  • Clint Scoles

    Agreed. Ned told us awhile back he wouldn’t go out of the box with the bullpen but I loved having Holland in that fireman role and wish more teams would utilized their best reliever in that way.

  • jim fetterolf

    Good point. I don’t really see much difference between set up and closer. I think Jason Kendall claims the 8th is harder because the other team has twice as much hope, if not this inning we get another shot. Toughest job I think is fireman, come in with runners on base and much less room for error. That’s what Holly was great at when Jack Soria was still closing, come in with the bases loaded and one out, fan the side, then come out the next inning and shut ‘em down. Holland seem to do his best work with runners on.

  • Clint Scoles

    Agreed I don’t anticipate any moves but finding opportunities this season to get Davis some chances isn’t the worst thing. The Royals likely will need to make a move in the offseason to move Holland or Davis. Some FO people may want to see Davis actually do it so they know he can.

  • jim fetterolf

    Interesting, but I wouldn’t move Wade now, no need. Locking down the 8th in a one run game is as important as the 9th and with Herrera the Royals have three innings locked down. It’s a fair assumption Davis can close, so the important factor would be what prospects could be landed for Holland or Davis at this point. I’ld let Holland go first due to future cost, but Davis’ cost certainty might be more valuable to a trade partner. All a matter of prospects in return.

    As for the trade, Davis does have 0.9fW to Myers’ 0.5 and Jake’s 0.6, so looks like the Royals lost that trade :)

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