Holliday prefers New York, New York

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matt holliday cardinals.jpgSo Matt Holliday likes the Big Apple?

According to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff, who cites “a person in the loop,” the Cardinals’ free agent slugger and playoff goat views the Yankees as his No. 1 free agent choice, with the Mets coming in at No. 2.

Davidoff is skeptical that either place makes sense.

As of now, I’d say the Yankees don’t want to make another large purchase like that, in the wake of last winter’s shopping spree – and if they win it all, then the pressure from the yakosphere (trademark Neil Best) to get Holliday should alleviate.

First of all, does the pressure from the “yakosphere” ever really slow down? And secondly, look at what the Yankees have coming off the books: Johnny Damon ($13 million), Hideki Matsui ($13 million), Xavier Nady ($6.5 million), Andy Pettitte ($5 million) and Chieng-Ming Wang ($5 million). That’s $42.5 million, so the Yankees should definitely have some wiggle room.

Of course, they’ll also have to figure out what to do with their rotation behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and, I assume, Joba Chamberlain, and account for raises. I’m not saying it’s a perfect fit, but I wouldn’t rule it out just yet.

But what about the Mets?

The Mets? Based on Jeff Wilpon’s words from a few weeks ago, they’ll consider anything and everything. Of course, many industry folks are very skeptical that the Mets will actually do so.

Holliday’s primary reservation about joining the Mets? Yup, hitting at Citi Field. Maybe they can alter the dimensions? Jerry Manuel hinted near the end of the season that wasn’t impossible.

So they might be rolling out the red carpet in Queens … maybe. I hope it includes one heckuva medical plan.

Brewers sign Neftali Feliz

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 29: Neftali Feliz #30 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 29, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Pirates won the game 8-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.

The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.

Marlins acquire starter Dan Straily from the Reds

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Dan Straily #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.

For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.

Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.

A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.