8:18pm: In a follow-up story on ESPN.com, Olney reports that the Cardinals are increasingly optimistic that they will be able to sign Holliday.
6:01pm: After the Mets reached an agreement with Jason Bay earlier today, Matt Holliday stands as the only elite hitter remaining on the free agent market. ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets that agent Scott Boras has been doubling back to teams to discuss Holliday, and that his asking price in at least one conversation was $18MM per year.
The Mets' agreement with Bay removes them from the list of possible Holliday suitors, and we've already heard today that neither the Giants or the Yankees are in on the outfielder. Looking around the majors, there are very few teams that have a left field opening and could afford to take on the 29-year-old at anything close to $18MM.
Like Bay with the Mets, it seems that the Cardinals represent the most logical and realistic fit for Holliday. Boras will continue to attempt to get the best possible deal for his client, but at this point it's hard to imagine which club could get involved and outbid the Cards.