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Derek Holland to White Sox: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Derek Holland will get a much-needed fresh start in 2017, as he signed a one-year deal with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

The White Sox announced the signing after's TR Sullivan was the first to report Holland's decision, and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News shared the length of the contract. 

Grant also reported the deal could be worth up to $8 million and provided some further context to the move:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported slightly different terms, tweeting that the contract is worth a base of $6 million with as much as $1 million in incentives.

The Texas Rangers declined their $11 million contract option on Holland in November, which made him a free agent and freed him up to sign with any team.

It wasn't a surprise to see the Rangers move on from Holland after his struggles over the previous two seasons and inability to stay on the field since 2013. 

Holland has appeared in just 38 games over the previous three seasons, and his performance on the mound has been less than stellar with a 4.30 ERA in just 203 innings during that span. 

Grant wrote about some of the other issues that have plagued Holland during his injury-riddled run since 2014:

His average fastball velocity dropped to 91.7 mph in 2016 from 93.6 in 2013. The difference in speed between his secondary pitches is now just 5 mph where it once was 7.5 mph. It adds up to a recipe for guys being better able to identify pitches and being able to wait for mistakes with more assurance they will come. The Rangers wanted him to throw his changeup more in 2016 and the usage did grow, but at a microscopic level: Less than one percent.

Holland completed just 107.1 innings in 2016, going 7-9 with a 4.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.

At just 30 years old, Holland will have a chance to reinvent himself as a member of the White Sox. His career ERA of 4.35 ERA leaves something to be desired, but the veteran southpaw did manage to go 10-9 with a 3.42 ERA in 2013.

Given how much of a struggle it has been for Holland to take the mound every fifth day, he has a lot to prove next season if he hopes to continue his MLB career as a starting pitcher. He does get a clean slate and will have ample opportunity to prove there is more in the tank than he's been able to show lately. 

Holland could provide great value as part of a weak free-agent class, and he will have a chance to become an important part of Chicago's rotation after the team dealt Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox.

Although Holland figures to slot behind the likes of Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon and James Shields, he gives the White Sox a veteran presence and depth at the back end of their pitching staff until youngsters Lucas Giolito (22) and Reynaldo Lopez (22) are ready to step up.

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