Holland, 30, is in his ninth season in the majors, and first with the White Sox after eight seasons in Texas. Chicago signed him as a free agent in December to a one-year deal with hopes that he could revive the form he had shown before injuries snuffed out large portions of his past three seasons. He was also brought in to bridge the gap to some of the young arms the White Sox have waiting in the minors.
With a 5.18 ERA and .281 batting average against thus far, Holland may not yet be realizing the hopes Chicagoans had for what he could do on the mound, but the former Rangers pitcher brought a tradition with him from Texas that has won over his new teammates and is having an intangible effect on the White Sox.
“Every time we win, the player of the game gets the heavyweight championship belt,” Holland says, gesturing to a full-size WWE belt that, at the time, was hanging in reliever Tommy Kahnle’s locker.
Date: July 18
Grade: Yankees, A; White Sox, B
Analysis (Gatto): New York addresses two big needs with one big deal.
First, Frazier will replace Chase Headley at third base and provide tons more pop to the position. Frazier has outhomered Headley 16-4 this season, which will help the Yankees overlook Frazier’s poor batting average (.207) and slightly above-average 105 OPS+.
Second, New York is bolstering its shaky bullpen with Robertson and Kahnle. Robertson, 32, succeeded Mariano Rivera as the Yankees’ closer in 2014, only to sign a four-year, $46 million contract with the White Sox that offseason. The Yanks will take on the final year-plus of that deal and make him a setup guy again. Kahnle, 27 and a Yankees draft pick in 2010, has shown closer stuff (60 Ks, seven walks in 36 innings) this year. He’s under team control through 2020.