St. Louis and slugger Matt Holliday have agreed to terms on a seven-year, $120 million deal that allows the Cardinals to cross a major item off of their winter to-do list, CBSSports.com has confirmed.
The deal, a major score for Holliday in that the Cardinals really didn't seem to have much competition left for his services at this point in the winter, also includes a full no-trade clause. It also should re-establish St. Louis as NL Central favorites, given the powerful one-two punch of Holliday and Albert Pujols in the middle of the lineup and co-aces Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright atop the rotation.
A return to St. Louis also will give Holliday the chance to re-write what would have been a highly unsatisfying ending to his stay with the Redbirds following his crucial error in left field during Game 2 in Los Angeles last October in the playoffs. The botched play helped position the Dodgers to sweep in three games and largely contributed to a stunningly premature end to the season for a team that had serious World Series hopes.
The Cardinals, of course, probably wouldn't have been in that position in the first place without Holliday, whose bat sent them on a torrid second half run after they acquired him from Oakland in late July. In 63 games with the Cardinals, Holliday batted .353 with 13 homers and 55 RBI.