Would the Texas Rangers benefit from trading Derek Holland?

Maybe it's time for Derek Holland to find himself ... somewhere else. (Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)

I’ve never been known to have the most popular opinion when it comes to Derek Holland. In fact, there are some who think I’m stupid for thinking he’s one of the more inconsistent pitchers the Texas Rangers have. But I’m also not one to back down from the opinion just because people don’t agree with me. They have their opinion and I have mine. My opinion isn’t the be-all, end-all, it’s just that, an opinion.

That being said, there have been rumors the Rangers are quietly scouting not only Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke but also Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels. Both will be free agents at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

Right now, the Rangers have a rotation that can keep them on top of the AL West through the remainder of the season, especially with Colby Lewis due to come off the disabled list in a little more than a week. When he returns, he will take his rightful place at the top of the rotation, and will be joined by Matt Harrison, one of the hottest pitchers in the big leagues right now, Yu Darvish and Roy Oswalt. The only thing left to determine is who takes the fifth spot in the rotation?

After his first outing, Martin Perez looks pretty solid, but we saw young Justin Grimm look solid after his first start only to get lit up like a Christmas tree by the Detroit Tigers in his second start.

So, assuming Texas is serious about either Greinke or Hamels, who does that leave as the odd man out in the rotation?

This is where my, though unpopular, opinion comes in. I’ve said it in the past, and I’ll say it again this season.

It’s time to trade Derek Holland.

Sure he’s still a young pitcher, and sure there are some who believe he’ll eventually figure it out and become an ace of someone’s rotation. I just don’t think he’ll figure it out here.

Holland is the kind of pitcher I see having success at a place like PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres, one of the biggest pitcher’s parks in baseball. A guy who can get away with hanging a few pitches here and there because PETCO Park has been called, “a ballpark where fly balls go to die.” If I hadn’t seen it in person, I wouldn’t believe that saying but it actually is kind of true.

In fact, the San Diego Padres would be the perfect place to deal Holland because they have two pieces the Rangers could really use.

This morning, I was listening to 1310 AM The Ticket here in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and they were talking to Evan Grant, who covers the Rangers for the Dallas Morning News, and he mentioned the team possibly looking at acquiring another left-handed reliever for the bullpen.

The one name that brings to mind is a guy by the name of Joe Thatcher. In 65 games for the Padres during the 2010 season, Thatcher finished the season with a 1.29 ERA and a .185 batting-average against.

He would appear in only 18 games last season and, so far this season, has a 3.05 ERA and a .231 batting-average against through 31 games (20.2 IP). He won’t replace Robbie Ross in the seventh inning, but he’s a guy who can fill in when Ross needs a day off. Say what you want about his numbers being inflated by PETCO Park, Mike Adams also came from San Diego and he has kept a sub-3.00 ERA through the last season and a half with the Rangers.

With Thatcher added, the Padres have another piece who could fit into the Rangers depth chart quite well—Carlos Quentin.

I know Texas has both David Murphy and Craig Gentry on the depth chart at the moment, but Quentin is a guy who could complement David Murphy. Whichever guy you don’t start in left field you can put in the DH role if for no other reason than to keep their bat in the lineup.

The Rangers need to strengthen their depth offensively, and acquiring Quentin would be a great way to do that.

Sure, the Padres won’t take only Holland and gladly send Thatcher and Quentin to Texas, the Padres would want another prospect or two in order to make the deal worthwhile. It won’t be a Mike Olt-type prospect but perhaps a guy like Tanner Scheppers who could definitely flourish in San Diego.

Holland has a great sense of humor and might have a lot of potential, but I continue to wonder how long the Rangers are willing to let things play out. Do they want to win the World Series now and build a team that can do that, or are they willing to stand pat just to keep around a guy who may never pan out in the American League?

That is going to be a big question the Rangers are going to have to ask themselves. My opinion might not be popular, and you may think I have no idea what I’m talking about, and that’s fine. Harrison has become the better of the two left-handers, and I’m willing to bet the Rangers could deal Holland and be just fine in the long run.

After two straight appearances in the World Series, general manager Jon Daniels and the rest of the Rangers’ front office know that another trip and another loss is not acceptable.

For the first time in Texas Rangers history, fans expect a championship. They expect this team to finally bring home the World Series trophy to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They were so ready to celebrate last year, and the pain of that still resonates around the ballpark and around the fan base.

This season, however, will be a completely different story. The time to win is here, and this organization will do what it needs to do to make sure this town gets to celebrate something other than that mediocre team just a few blocks from the ballpark.

Trading Derek Holland may not be popular, but it might be necessary.


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  1. Not a bad idea, but would have to be combined with something decent. I dont agree with the Quentin/Thatcher angle or the Padres in general. At this rate, the Rangers are going to be a San Diego retread.. kinda like Baltimore is the Rangers retread. Hamels definetly grabs my attention, and Roy may be able to help sell him on Texas, but I think that we’d have to give up one of our top of the line prospects in either Olt, Perez, or Profar. The Rangers have repeatedly said that those guys are untouchable, so I dont see any of this coming to fruition. Just another pipe dream. Might as well say, hey we can trade Holland for Felix Hernandez or James Shields or Matt Cain.  Just aint gonna happen.

  2. If you’re talking about oranges from California and a solid hammer from Home Depot I’ll take it. HAHA

    In all seriousness, I know the opinion isn’t shared by a lot of Rangers fans but I don’t think it has anything to do with his “stuff.” It has more to do with his humor and likeability and I can understand that.

    How long are fans willing to deal with Holland and his inconsistent ability before they realize his potential isn’t ever going to be realized? At least not here.

  3. And Tony Romo has the potential to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a Super Bowl…at least that’s what everyone keeps saying but they’ve yet to get close.

    Having the potential or having “the stuff” doesn’t always mean they are going to live up to either of those things.

    If Holland ever finds a shred of consistency, then the discussion changes.

  4. Greinke doesn’t want to pitch in the American League. His top choice seems to be signing long term with the Cardinals if they can put a deal together but the Braves might also be interested.

    As for Quentin and Thatcher, it gives the Rangers another bat to strengthen their depth off the bench and Thatcher gives them another left handed reliever so they don’t run Robbie Ross ragged.

    Scheppers, with his performances thus far, just adds another trade piece for San Diego. He’s a guy who will probably perform pretty well in a pitcher’s ballpark.

  5. The big word there is “might.” I just don’t know what kind of trade value Holland has right now. Sure he is the kind of pitcher who can give you solid start after solid start, I just don’t think he’s ever going to be what the Rangers need him to be.

  6. I love the comments coming in on this story. As I said at the very beginning, I knew my opinion wasn’t going to be a popular one.

    That being said, I’m always surprised at those who continue to say “he has the stuff to be a TORP.” He might have the stuff but he’s nowhere near a top of the rotation pitcher, not even close. His inconsistent starts have kept him around a number three guy at best.

    Does he have the potential? Sure. But a lot of players have the potential to be something that never turn into anything.

  7.  Holland did just fine in the World Series last year.  Yes, he is inconsistent but he also has the stuff to be a TORP.  Even still, if he is just a middle of the rotation pitcher, you have him relative cheap during his prime years. 

  8. This is pretty ridiculous. Seriously? Quentin and Thatcher for Holland and Scheppers? Maybe Holland and Scheppers for Greinke. Even then I’d have a hard time pulling the trigger.

  9. Woo!  Lets trade a young, cost-controllable pitcher for a soon-to-be free agent outfielder (who has had the equivalent of 2 truly productive seasons) because he is inconsistent despite having complete game, shutout caliber stuff.  Sounds like a plan to me!

  10. Sorry I’m going to have to disagree, I think we need to hold onto Holland. Pitchers with his kind of stuff do not come along very often. I truly believe with a little more focus and some mental Toughness he can lead this team to WS championship.. and be a bonafide ace for many years. I think his stuff is borderline Good/elite. I rotation with Holland, Harrison, Darvish for the next 3-6 years will keep us in contention. Of course this is all my opinion. Talents to good to trade away!!

  11. Holland and Scheppers for Thatcher and Quentin??? Boy I wish you were in my fantasy league…

  12. I guess you didnt see his second half last year right,  a few more than one win. But ha its time to bandwagon and you sure seem the part.

  13. I’ve got no problem with your “crazy opinion” of trading holland, but that’s what you want for him? A platoon outfielder and an average reliever? Why not a sack of oranges and a nice hammer? Wow.

  14. Holland wouldn’t be enought to aquire a 30 year old reliever and carlos quentin??? you, my friend, are out of your mind.

  15. I doubt they would have made the big deal with him this past off season if there was a remote chance they were thinking along these lines!

  16. This is an unbelievable article. Holland — a guy under control and still very young — for a soon-to-be- free agent outfielder with 16 total RBI in what little time he’s played and a relief prospect? I don’t know if this is public knowledge, but half of the Rangers’ Opening Day pitching staff is hurt. RIGHT NOW, is not the time to start giving away 25-year-old left-handed starters. Simply retarded.

  17. Red, I’ve seen all I need to see from Derek Holland over the last few years. Sure he came up big with a huge start in the World Series but one win does not a hero make…unless you’re Tony Romo that is.

  18. I’m in agreement/  I’ve said for 2 years that when the dust settles, Harry will be the big lefty in the Ranger rotation.

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