The Yankees were major sellers at the trade deadline, leaving them with holes to fill this offseason. They filled one by signing Matt Holliday as the likely DH.
The New York Yankees are usually one of a few teams to make a splash during the offseason. Yet, they haven’t made a single move until now. The team likely signed their designated hitter in Matt Holliday.
The team traded three major pieces at the trade deadline last season. In return, they were building for the future by receiving a lot of prospects. However, this left them with a couple of openings on the roster, one of them being the DH.
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With the outfield locked up, the only position I see him fitting in is DH. Moving to the hitter-friendly American League East, what is Holliday’s fantasy value for 2017?
Holliday’s last two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals were a bit of a struggle. He combined to play in 183 games after playing in at least 141 in the previous three seasons. In those two seasons, he hit 24 home runs, 97 RBI and .259.
The Cardinals look to be getting younger, and with no DH in the National League, Holliday didn’t have a job locked up.
The Yankees lost Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to retirement, two potential DHs for 2017. The team also traded another DH option Carlos Beltran to the Texas Rangers at the deadline. None of the current players on the team would benefit from hitting as the DH.
As far as Holliday playing in the outfield for the Yankees, I don’t see that happening. New York has Brett Gardner in left field, Jacoby Ellsbury in center and a platoon of Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks in right. Unless the team trades Gardner, Holliday will only play on off-days.
This signing also shuts down any rumor that the team signs Edwin Encarnacion. While some may think the team still needs a first baseman, Tyler Austin and Greg Bird are slotted to play there, I think they found their free agent bat to sign and will turn their efforts to Aroldis Chapman.
With the DH pool growing, Holliday will rank inside my top five. The AL East parks favor Holliday and company. He could spent time in the outfield and at first. It will take him 10 games to gain eligibility in ESPN leagues next season, but the latter is unlikely.
I project him hitting 20 home runs and 70 RBI with a .260 average.