Late yesterday afternoon, Matt Holliday finalized what many had speculated would happen-he signed a 7-year $120 million deal, with a no-trade clause, with the Cardinals. I wrote about Holliday going to the Cardinals on December 31st here. The Cardinals had to sign Holliday, just as the Dodgers had to sign Manny Ramirez last offseason. Holliday will earn $17 million per season, half a million more per year than Jason Bay got from the Mets.
Holliday will bat 4th in the Cardinals lineup, behind Albert Pujols. Holliday will solidify the Cardinals lineup that will include Colby Rasmus, Pujols, Ryan Ludwick, Skip Schumaker and Yadier Molina. Can you imagine the Cardinals without Holliday in their lineup? I am curious if Pujols will be pitched around more in 2010 and beyond, now that Holliday is hitting behind him. The Dodgers had success pitching around Pujols and pitching to Holliday in the 2009 NLDS with Pujols only driving in 1 run in the series while walking 3 times in 13 plate appearances. Could Pujols approach Barry Bonds single season walk record?
Fantasy owners should draft Holliday between the 2nd and 3rd rounds of mixed league drafts, and in the late first to early second round of NL-only drafts, as Holliday provides 30-100-15 potential. What should also be considered is that Holliday is back in the National League where he has a career .322-.389-.556-.945 slash line in 6 seasons.
Head on over to the Cardinals site on SB Nation, Viva El Birdos, to read what Cardinal fans are saying about the Holliday signing.