Cardinals officially decline Matt Holliday’s option

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As previously rumored, the Cardinals have officially declined outfielder Matt Holliday‘s option for 2017, according to a report by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The club announced their intention to decline the veteran’s $17 million salary back in September, and while GM John Mozeliak wouldn’t confirm a permanent split, Holliday’s return to the team under a new contract seems unlikely.

It was an off year for the 36-year-old left fielder, who saw a career-worst batting line of .246/.322/.461 in 426 plate appearances and was sidelined through the second half after taking a pitch off of his right thumb. Although he didn’t perform at the All-Star level the Cardinals saw in 2015, he hit a few milestones before landing on the disabled list, including his 1,000th franchise hit and 500th at Busch Stadium. His 20 home runs made 2016 the 12th major league season in which he produced double-digit homers.

Holliday will become a free agent for the first time since he signed his seven-year, $120 million deal with the Cardinals in 2010. While he may not have the defensive profile the Cardinals are searching for, his bat could still land him a spot as a DH before 2017 rolls around.