Matt Holliday's Contract Option Declined by Cardinals: Latest Comments, Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2016

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 7: Matt Holliday #7 during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium on August 7, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals officially declined the remaining option year on outfielder Matt Holliday's contract Friday after general manager John Mozeliak indicated the team would do as much toward the end of the regular season. 

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation first reported the Cardinals declined to pick up Holliday's $17 million option for the 2017 season.

Instead, Holliday will be paid a $1 million buyout and become an unrestricted free agent. 

Holliday spent eight seasons with the Cardinals, and he established himself as one of MLB's premier outfielders during that stretch. 

After joining the club in 2009, Holliday made three straight All-Star appearances from 2010-2012 thanks to his remarkable consistency at the plate. 

Holliday earned his seventh All-Star nod in 2015, but his career started to be derailed by injuries during a campaign that saw him bat .279/.394/.410 with four home runs and 35 RBI over the course of 73 appearances. 

The 2016 season didn't treat Holliday much better. 

Although he appeared in 110 games, Holliday still spent considerable time on the shelf nursing a broken thumb that forced him to miss most of August and almost all of September. 

Compounding matters was the way in which Holliday's performance at the plate slipped. In 426 plate appearances, the 36-year-old posted a slash line of .246/.322/.461 while cranking 20 home runs and driving in 62 runs. 

And while his power numbers were somewhat encouraging, Holliday posted just one offensive win above replacement—which marked the lowest total of his career. Holliday also served as a net negative in the outfield, where he notched minus-1.3 defensive wins above replacement. 

Despite those struggles, Holliday maintained an optimistic outlook when the 2016 came to a close. 

"I have a lot of good baseball left in me," he said, according to MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch

Holliday isn't the force he once was, but his ability to provide supplementary pop at the plate could make him an attractive platoon option for a contender in need of bench reinforcements. 

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