Yes, this Hot Stove drama is over. Jon Heyman of SI.com broke the news just under an hour ago, as Matt Holliday has agreed to a seven-year, $120 million contract with St. Louis. Holliday will receive $17 million per season, according to Matthew Leach of MLB.com, and a no-trade clause.
Holliday appeared on ESPN Radio just a short time ago confirming the signing, saying that it’s actually for $119 million, but there is some language that could push it to $120 million. But hey, what’s a million between friends? Either way, it’s the biggest contract in club history.
“I felt like it was a good fit for me an my family,” Holliday said on
the Doug Gottlieb show on ESPN. “I’m going back to the Cardinals. It
was very appealing to me. This has been a bit of a long process. There
are some emotional ups and downs that go with it. It hasn’t exactly
been a walk in the park.”
It’s not quite Mark Teixeira-money, but Scott Boras got his client over the $100 million threshold and then some. Likewise, it’s an important statement by the Cardinals organization, as they attempt to keep Albert Pujols in the fold after his current contract expires at the end of the 2011 season.
Some will wonder what other legitimate offers Boras actually had on the table for his client since the Mets clearly preferred Jason Bay all along, but in the end both sides needed each other too much for this not to happen.
The Diamondbacks have signed free agent left-hander Jorge De La Rosa to a minor league deal, per a team announcement on Sunday. The contract includes an invitation to spring training. Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com adds that De La Rosa stands to make $2.25 million if he secures a spot on the major league roster, with up to $600,000 in incentives if he pitches out of the bullpen and up to $1 million in incentives if he pitches out of the starting rotation.
The 35-year-old is expected to compete for a bullpen role after spending the better part of a decade in the Rockies’ rotation. He capped a nine-year run with Colorado in 2016, finishing the year with a 5.51 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 over 134 innings. Despite his struggles out of the rotation, he found limited success in a three-game stint in the bullpen, striking out 10 of 26 batters and holding the opposition to just three hits and one earned run in eight innings.
The veteran lefty is set to join a bullpen comprised of right-handers Randall Delgado, Jake Barrett and Fernando Rodney, along with a number of unproven candidates on similar minor league contracts. His age and command issues may be off-putting, but the promise he showed as a reliever should give the Diamondbacks some upside as they attempt to redeem a league-worst bullpen in 2017.
Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson is expected to miss up to three weeks with a right calf strain, reports John Lott. Donaldson reportedly felt some discomfort in his calf during sprinting drills on Friday and was diagnosed with what looked like a mild strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. According to Lott, the 31-year-old is on crutches for the next few days and will likely miss 2-3 weeks of spring training.
Donaldson had a similar scare at the start of the 2016 season, when he limped out of the batter’s box during the Blue Jays’ first regular season road trip with a right calf strain. He returned to DH two days later, however, and was back on the field in less than a week’s time. Blue Jays’ GM Ross Atkins told MLB.com’s Corey Long that the two calf injuries are unrelated, and expects that Donaldson will recover in similar fashion this spring — well before Opening Day comes around.