Left-hander Derek Holland signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, officially bringing an end to his Texas Rangers career after eight seasons.
Holland’s final three seasons were hampered by injuries, and his off-beat personality also drew the ire of some in the organization and media who didn’t think he was committed to his day job.
Those concerns often overshadow three solid seasons in the rotation from 2011 to 2013 and two of the biggest outings in Rangers postseason history. He admitted that leaving the Rangers, with whom he made his MLB debut in 2009, was difficult.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” he said. “This is where it all began for me. To be able to have the amount of success I’ve and the people that I was able to meet, it’s just crazy that it’s over. I can’t believe it’s done. But at the same time I made a lot of great memories there and met a lot of great people.”
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Holland leaves with eight career shutouts, four of them in a 16-5 2011 season in which he saved his best for the World Series. Holland blanked St. Louis over 8 1/3 innings on two hits in Game 4 to even the series.
A year earlier, his 3 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series helped the Rangers take a 3-1 series lead over the New York Yankees.
General manager Jon Daniels said that the Rangers never made Holland a contract offer after declining a club option for 2017. Daniels also said that pitching continues to command most of the Rangers’ off-season attention.
Right-hander Colby Lewis remains a possibility to fill out the rotation, and Daniels said that he spoke within the past week to Lewis’ agent, Alan Nero. A potential hang-up could be if the Rangers, with their 40-man roster full, are willing to offer a major-league contract.