ST. LOUIS -- Matt Holliday's chances of returning to St. Louis in 2017 went from slim to none on Sunday as he agreed to a one-year contract with the Yankees. Holliday, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, will earn $13 million under the one-year deal.
The move to New York puts an official end point on Holliday's career as a Cardinal. The organization choose not to exercise the left fielder's $17 million option at the end of this season after agreeing that it was time to go in a different direction with its outfield makeup.
Holliday's time with the Cardinals began in 2009, when he was acquired from Oakland at the non-waiver Trade Deadline. He signed a seven-year, $120 million contract with St. Louis that next offseason and became a core piece for a club that advanced to the postseason six times with him on its roster.
Over 982 games for St. Louis, Holliday, now 36, slashed .293/.380/.494 with an .874 OPS. He'll enter the 2017 season five hits shy of reaching 2,000 for his career, and he would have surpassed that mark in '16 had an errant pitch from Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery not broken his thumb in mid-August. The injury required surgery, and Holliday didn't return to the field until the Cardinals' final series of the season.
That ending, however, will be remembered as a perfect one. Holliday connected for his first career pinch-hit homer upon his return, delivered a pinch-hit RBI single the following day and then closed his time with the Cardinals by taking the field, alone, in the final inning of the team's final game. After acknowledging the crowd from left field for a few moments, Holliday returned to the dugout. He accepted that it was likely the final time he'd don a Cardinals uniform.
As it turns out, though, Holliday won't have to wait long to take the field against St. Louis. The Cardinals are scheduled to make an Interleague visit to Yankee Stadium from April 14-16, 2017.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.