KANSAS CITY, Mo. With the trade of Jonathan Broxton to Cincinnati last summer and the Royals' decision to pass on Joakim Soria's contract option last week, the path has been cleared for Greg Holland to become the Royals' closer perhaps for years to come.
But Holland, 26, isn't exactly relieved they're gone.
"Sure, I'd love to be the closer for years," he said in a teleconference call Tuesday. "But I'd love to have both of those guys back. I don't manage (the roster) or know how all that works but they were great to have here.
"I learned a lot from them. They're quiet guys, and you never knew whether they won or they lost, but I could learn just from watching them and how they went about their jobs."
Holland evidently learned quite a bit. He made 67 appearances with the Royals in 2012 and finished with a 2.96 ERA and 16 saves. He also struck out 91 in 67 innings.
Those numbers made him a rather easy choice as the Royals' Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year, an honor bestowed upon hi...