Since the retirement of Alex Rodriguez, there’s been an air of uncertainty as to the designated hitter position for the New York Yankees. Surely many a letter has been written to the jolly elf up North hoping for the delivery of a Christmas miracle. Well this season, Santa delivered to the Yankees faithful: Matt Holliday is the newest Bronx Bomber, agreeing to a one-year, $13 million deal.
Holliday, 36, spent the last eight seasons mostly in the outfield for the St. Louis Cardinals, who declined his $17 million club option for the 2017 campaign. He also dabbled at first base and designated hitter since coming into the league in 2004 with the Colorado Rockies.
In 13 seasons, Holliday is slashing a solid .303/.382/.515 to go along with his 295 home runs and 1,153 RBIs. The seven time All-Star had also clubbed 38 percent of his 1,995 career hits for extra bases. He is currently 19th amongst active players in career WAR with 44.4. Last season, the righty out of Stillwater, OK, hit .246/.332/.461 in 110 games, hampered by a thumb injury.
It was rumored when free agency came around that the Yankees were showing interest in former Yankee and All-Star Carlos Beltran. However, Beltran, 39, decided to stay in Texas (having played with the Texas Rangers for part of 2016) but this time signing with the Houston Astros.
Overall, this is a great fit for Holliday. An aging player who can still produce has often found solace in an American League batting order. Players like David Ortiz, Joe Mauer, and Jeff King have extended their careers by spending some time at designated hitter and cutting down on the standard wear and tear that comes with a long, grueling baseball season. Holliday will likely fill that same role, although you still may see him fill in at first base or in the outfield on occasion.