Holland, Royals strike deal

Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Royals and closer Greg Holland avoided arbitration on Friday, agreeing to terms on a contract for the 2015 season.

The deal is worth $8.25 million, according to MLB.com.

Holland, 29, earned the first Mariano Rivera Award as the American League's top reliever after saving 46 games for the Royals last season. He recorded seven more saves during Kansas City's run to the World Series.

The right-hander was named to the AL All-Star team for the second straight year in 2014 while finishing with a 1.44 ERA and 90 strikeouts over his 65 appearances.

Holland has totaled 113 saves and compiled a 2.19 ERA in 261 career games since debuting with the Royals in 2010.

The Royals also signed Joe Blanton to a minor league contract. The veteran right-hander last pitched in the majors for the Angels in 2013, going 2-14 with a 6.04 ERA.

Blanton, 34, pitched for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies team that won the World Series title.