Page last updated on Thu Oct 08 18:09:53 EDT 2015
Fri, 23 Mar 2012 01:13 PM EDT

Left-handed pitcher Derek Holland confirmed a 5-year, $28.5 million contract with the Texas Rangers.

The deal calls for salaries of $1 million this year, $3.2 million next year, $5.4 million in 2014, $7.4 million in 2015 and $10 million in 2016. Scores

Texas holds an $11 million option for 2017 with a $1.5 million buyout. If the 1st option is exercised, the Rangers have an $11.5 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout. There are additional escalators.

The agreement gives Holland, 25 year-old, the security of 5 years of guaranteed money, but the club gets the power to tie him up for 3 years of his free-agency period. He was scheduled to become an independent agent after the 2015 season.

Holland, who changed into a follower favorite with his mustache and his impressions, was 16-5 with a 3.95 Era in 198 innings (32 starts) in 2011, taking an important step in his maturation progress. Baseball scores

From July 7 on, Holland was 10-1 with a 2.77 Era in his last 15 regular-season starts, and won 12 of his final 13 decisions.

Holland’s most remarkable outing was Game four of the World Series against the Cardinals. With the Texas Rangers down 2-1 in the series, Holland threw 8 1/3 shutout innings at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and permitted only 2 hits in the Rangers’ victory.

Holland most likely will start the season as the club’s No. 2 starter behind Colby Lewis.

“They’re going to be significant parts of our rotation, no questions about that,” Rangers managing director Jon Daniels recounted. “It’s actually about the individual, but it’s about our responsibility to signing and developing the best pitching we are able to. It is an organizational attitude. We’ve tried to turn that corner a little bit and this is further evidence of that.”

Holland was chosen in the 25th round of the 2006 draft and worked his way thru the minors. He was inconsistent as a big league pitcher, with a 6.12 Era in 33 games (21 starts) in 2009 and 4.08 Era in 14 games (ten starts) in 2010, going a mixed 11-17.

But he showed fantastic life on his fastball and very good movement, and the club stayed tolerant.

“Baseball is totally full of difficulties,” Rangers executive Ron Washington announced. “There wasn’t a time that Derek dealt with difficulty that he didn’t fight back. That is what I like about him. He’s maturing.”

It all came together in the 2nd half last season, and Holland is scheduled to be a stalwart in the rotation for many years to come

“We declared at the beginning of the offseason that one of our purposes was to continue to extend some of our core members and keep this group untouched for as long as possible,” Daniels asserted. “Derek has done a tremendous job of putting the work in to where he is part of that core.

“I think that we all saw him truly start to reach his potential last year, particularly in the 2nd half. We’re actually proud of the work he’s put in and looking for continued good things from him and the Rangers for many years to come.”

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