Matt Holliday signs seven-year deal with Cardinals

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Thumbnail image for holliday_090827.jpgYes, 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.
 

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.