Derek Holland was a victim of the latest round of Boston Red Sox roster cuts, but the recently-acquired pitcher made the decision to not opt out of his contract and instead report to Triple-A Worcester.
After the roster cuts, which also included a handful of other players, became public on Saturday, former Red Sox infielder and NESN analyst Will Middlebrooks said Holland told him he would not be opting out of his contract. The report was confirmed by Holland himself, who responded to a fan on Twitter and offered an explanation as to why he did not re-enter free agency rather than report to the minor leagues.
“Took the assignment because I’ve only been able to showcase two innings, all my other games (have) been backfield,” Holland wrote. “And it’s a great organization to be a part of, so I want to stay and see where this road takes me. Going to be a lot of fun with these guys.”
Holland very likely could return to the majors this season. The 35-year-old has transitioned to the bullpen in recent seasons after getting his start in the league in the Texas Rangers rotation. Last season, he saw 39 games for the Detroit Tigers, logging a 5.07 ERA in 49 2/3 innings.