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Monday, January 9, 2012
No long-term deal for Holland right now

By Richard Durrett

Long-term contract negotiations with the Texas Rangers and left-handed pitcher Derek Holland have been tabled, likely for the rest of this offseason, a source confirmed Monday.

Holland’s representatives and the club had discussed earlier this offseason tying up the 25-year-old through his arbitration years and maybe a year or two into his free-agency period. But the sides couldn’t find enough common ground to get a long-term deal done right now.

Rangers GM Jon Daniels didn’t want to comment. The club usually doesn’t discuss negotiations.

Holland is slated to be a free agent after the 2015 season. So both sides have time in the next few seasons to try to work out a long-term deal should they choose.

Holland was 16-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 198 innings in 2011, taking an important step forward in his career. He became a more consistent pitcher in the process, going 9-1 with a 3.06 ERA after the All-Star break.

Under huge pressure in the World Series, Holland pitched a masterful Game 4. With his team down 2-1 in the series, Holland threw 8 1/3 shutout innings on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts in a Rangers’ win. He ended up 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in six playoff games (four starts) in 2011.

Texas had hoped to get some key members of its “core” signed up to long-term deals prior to the 2012 season and still has time to do so. But last week, news broke that the club would focus on just a one-year deal with catcher Mike Napoli, who will be a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.

Again, this doesn't mean the two sides won't re-open talks and get something done. But for now, that doesn't appear likely this offseason.