Yankees agree to deal with Matt Holliday for $13 million

·Yahoo Sports Contributor
Cardinals' outfielder Matt Holliday obliges the fans with a curtain call after hitting a pinch-hit home run during a 7-0 with against the Pirates. (AP)
Cardinals’ outfielder Matt Holliday obliges the fans with a curtain call after hitting a pinch-hit home run during a 7-0 with against the Pirates. (AP)

Before general manager Brian Cashman could make his grand entrance at the Winter Meetings, the New York Yankees have landed a key free agent.

According to FanRag Sports Jon Heyman, the Yankees have reached a one-year, $13M agreement with Matt Holliday, who will likely serve as a part-time first baseman and designated hitter. Sweeny Murti of WFAN in New York was the first to report a deal was close.

Holliday, 36, is coming off a decent 2016 season with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 382 at-bats, he hit .246 with 20 HRs and 60 RBIs. Those numbers are a far cry from the huge numbers he put up during his seven All-Star campaigns, most of which were spent in Colorado and St. Louis. But they show there’s still enough fuel left in the tank to contribute on a contending team.

Holliday shouldn’t be considered for the outfield again. His defense was never top notch to begin with, but declined steadily over the years in part due to injuries. First base should lead to much less wear and tear and ideally his first healthy season since 2014.

With that in mind, a Holliday-Yankees marriage is an ideal fit. The Yankees are looking to replace production lost from the retirement of Mark Teixeira. They’ve been connected to bigger sluggers like Edwin Encarnacion, but signing Holliday should give them more flexibility in the long term. Encarnacion will likely command a four or five-year deal worth big money.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!