Matt Holliday was one of the many veteran players who sat through a brutally slow free-agent market this winter and came away without a contract for the 2018 season, but the seven-time All-Star is still hoping for a chance to get back on the field, he tells Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Holliday, now 38 years of age, explains that he still believes he’s capable of playing at a high level and has a desire to remain in the game. For the time being, he’s doing some work with MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, where he’ll make weekly appearances on the Inside Pitch show with Casey Stern every Tuesday, beginning next week. But Holliday adds that he’s working out every day and keeping himself in shape in the event that the right team comes calling. He does sound as though he’ll be a bit selective.
“Not every opportunity is a great one,” Holliday told Caesar. “But if (the right one) comes along … I’m interested. If not, I’m enjoying my time with my family. I’ve got four kids. I’ve played a long time.”
What, precisely, determines the “right” opportunity for Holliday isn’t entirely clear. It’s easy to imagine that he’d prefer the opportunity to join a contending club, but perhaps he’d also prefer a team in relative proximity to his home in Jupiter, Fla.
Presumably, if Holliday were to sign anywhere, he’d have to agree to a minor league deal and head to Triple-A to get some reps in a game setting before joining a big league club. That’d likely come with a relatively minimal salary that’s pro-rated for time spent on the big league roster, though salary probably won’t be the biggest factor for a player who’s earned roughly $160MM over the course of a brilliant playing career.
Holliday spent the 2017 campaign with the Yankees, serving as the primary DH in the Bronx and hitting a respectable .231/.316/.432 with 19 homers and 18 doubles in 427 trips to the plate over the life of 105 games. That marked the lone season in his 14-year MLB career that Holliday turned in an OPS+ south of the league average, though at 95, he wasn’t far off. The Astros, Twins, Indians, Tigers, Orioles and Royals are the only AL clubs that have received below-average production out of the DH spot in their lineup thus far in the 2018 season. It’s always possible that an injury in either league could create a potential opening for Holliday as well.