Matt Holliday‘s time in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform is officially over.
After a hastily thrown together but touching send-off during the final weekend of the 2016 season, most St. Louis Cardinals fans were resigned to the fact that Matt Holliday had worn the birds on the bat for the final time. Holliday put the nail in the coffin on Sunday night, though, as he reportedly agreed to a one-year, $13 million-dollar deal with the New York Yankees.
Holliday played in 982 regular season games for the Cardinals from 2009-16, coming over from the Oakland Athletics in a deadline deal.
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Holliday proceeded to reach the All-Star Game four times, earn MVP votes in four years, and win a Silver Slugger as a Cardinal. He hit .293/.380/.494 with 156 homers in 4,121 plate appearances with the Cards.
Holliday’s duties in left field had already been reduced during the 2016 season, as he saw his first-ever action at first base and started nine games at that position. He’s expected to see the majority of his starts in New York as a DH, though he could see occasional action at first base. The Yankees, however, are expected to rely primarily on the young trio of Greg Bird, Tyler Austin, and Rob Refsnyder at that position.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, are hoping to move Randal Grichuk to left field full-time in 2017, though they may be forced to keep him in center if a superior defensive player can’t be found via trade or free agency.
The Cardinals appear fully intent on acquiring a new starting outfielder for the coming season, as the in-house alternatives are not very attractive; besides Grichuk and starting right fielder Stephen Piscotty, the only other outfielders with big-league experience on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster are Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez.