The Chicago Cubs had themselves a heck of an opening day. Not only did they win their first game but the St. Louis Cardinals lost and the Brewers struggled to beat the Padres. It likely seemed as though the season was getting off to as good a start as possible. Then the news came on Thursday evening.The Cubs' top division rival got a little bit better on Opening Day. The St. Louis Cardinals signed closer Greg Holland to a one year deal worth $14 million. That deal gives the Cards a back-end of the bullpen that rivals Chicago and makes them just a little bit better.

Chicago Cubs still look like the most complete team

The Cubs entered the 2018 season looking like the team to beat in the NL Central. It would be odd, actually, if they didn't look like the team to beat. Chicago is, after all a team that is coming into the season off of three straight NLCS appearances. The team went out and got itself a new closer and a new starter. That new starter is making people think that the team might have the best rotation in baseball. After going through 2017 with a bullpen that struggled a bit from time to time, they also appear to be improved there as well. That showed a bit after the Cubs had to have that bullpen pitch a little over six innings in their first game.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, watched their pitching staff allowed nine runs to the Mets.

Greg Holland makes the Cardinals an obstacle for the Cubs

Greg Holland is one of those free agents that had been left out in the cold over a winter that saw a number of talented players struggling to find a team. The Chicago Cubs had one of those in former ace Jake Arrieta.

Arrieta managed to finally sign with the Phillies as Spring Training started. Holland managed to go through the entire preseason without landing on a squad. Maybe he knew something others didn't. Training by himself, he skipped all the requirements teams lay out for their players. Now he's a member of the Cardinals and one would think, will be asked to jump into the fray almost immediately.

Considering he posted 41 saves and made the all-star game last year, it seems as if the Cardinals have managed to get a player that will help them challenge the Chicago Cubs this summer.

If there is one catch, it's that Holland had a hard time in the second half of the season. The question is going to be whether that was the beginning of a trend, or whether it was just something the pitcher will have to figure out how to overcome in 2018.