White Sox strike 1-year deal with Holland

White Sox strike 1-year deal with Holland

CHICAGO -- The White Sox agreed to terms with left-handed hurler Derek Holland on a one-year, $6 million contract Wednesday.

Holland, who turned 30 in October, mentioned the White Sox as a team with strong interest from the outset of his free agency. This comment, among many others, came during a Wednesday conference call taking place as Holland was driving one of his five lizards to the vet.

"One of the greatest things about this whole process is how the White Sox came at me," said Holland, who also owns a dog and a chinchilla. "I got to speak to both [White Sox manager Rick] Renteria and [pitching coach Don] Cooper and we just got to touch base.

Hot Stove Tracker

"That was pretty cool for them to reach out and connect with me and show the interest. Seeing Cooper has had a lot of success with some left-handers and getting them back to where they need to be and helping them be successful played a huge role in my decision to go forward."

Texas was home for Holland during the first eight seasons of his career with the Rangers. He finished with a 7-9 record and a 4.95 ERA over 22 games and 20 starts during the 2016 campaign. Holland opened the season in the starting rotation, going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in April, before being placed on the disabled list on June 22 with left shoulder inflammation.

In 2011, Holland posted a 16-5 mark with a 3.95 ERA, and in 2013, he struck out a career-high 189 over a career-high 213 innings pitched. Texas declined an $11 million option for the 2017 season on Holland on Nov. 17, using the $1.5 million buyout to make him a free agent.

Adding Holland helps fill out the White Sox starting rotation after the departure of Chris Sale via a trade with Boston. Carlos Rodon, Miguel Gonzalez and James Shields appear to be in place, while Jose Quintana certainly sits at the No. 1 spot and would be the odds-on favorite as the Opening Day starter.

But in this highly publicized rebuild that netted the White Sox seven prospects through two trades last week, Quintana could add to that haul if the team's lofty demands are met by another club looking to acquire his services.

Carson Fulmer -- the White Sox top prospect per MLBPipeline.com before the additions of Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez via trade -- will be used as a starter during Spring Training. However, Fulmer still could be better served getting greater experience at the outset of 2017 as part of Triple-A Charlotte's rotation.

Holland has an 0-2 record with a 7.20 ERA over three starts at U.S. Cellular Field. He holds a 10-5 overall record against the American League Central, including a 5-1 mark against Cleveland and a 3-0 record with a 1.23 ERA at Progressive Field.

Only his dog will make the trip to Chicago. But Holland is looking forward to working with Cooper and getting back on track for at least this one year, making new memories even in the midst of a rebuild.

"You never know what's going to lie ahead," Holland said. "I could go out there and have an unbelievable year and end up staying with Chicago and end up being a part of the process and what they're trying to do.

"I know there's a strong group of guys there already. I've talked to a few of them, and I know that their mindset is to win. Obviously, they got rid of a few pieces, but the main thing is you've got to turn the page and train for what lies ahead."

To make room for Holland on the 40-man roster, which now sits at 40, the White Sox designated left-hander Matt Purke for assignment.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.