(Busch Stadium) While noting that circumstances are subject to change, St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak met with the media on Friday to announce a decision has been made regarding Matt Holliday.
“What we’ve decided to do is activate him today and the purpose of that is because we don’t know what the future’s going to hold,” began Mozeliak. “Matt had reached out to me earlier in the week, asking me to have an understanding on what we were going to do with his option. I told him the probability of us picking it up is probably low. I asked him if he would like that moment, if he could get a chance to play this weekend to do that–it’s been 7 1/2 years and they’ve been great years.
“Matt’s been an amazing teammate. We’ve had a lot of success with him being a key member of that. So, he reached out to us today, he mentioned that he would like to be activated. In terms of when we use him, time will tell but he is just grateful for a being part of the Cardinals over these last 7 1/2 years and he also wants to express his thank you to the fans, to Mike, to Tony, to Mr. DeWitt and the other investors.”
Holliday, who will turn 37 in January, has a team option for $17 million with a $1 million buyout.
“In terms of speaking in absolutes or saying there’s no chance he’s coming back, I’m not prepared to do that,” answered Mozeliak. “Certainly have an understanding of what we think the club’s going to look like or what we want to see happen, but those kinds of conversations are always done when the seasons ends and we start to focus on next year. We still have three games–three very important games. No one wants to be a distraction on that and our focus should be on winning tonight.”
After a rough July, in which he hit .188 (15-80), Holliday had been on the upswing at the plate (.306, 11-36) before he was hit by a pitch from Chicago’s Mike Montgomery on August 11th at Wrigley Field. X-rays revealed a fracture that has kept Holliday out of the lineup ever since.
“You know it stinks,” assessed Mozeliak. “The unfortunate part of baseball or sports are injuries and in his case, he literally got a bad break–no pun intended. I feel bad about that but I also, when you sit in my seat, it can’t solely be on relationship and only maybe the short view. I have to think about this long term and what we think’s best for this organization and how we can be stronger and how we can get stronger. It’s unfortunate, but nothing ever lasts forever. Especially in sports. So it’s one of those things, we’re having this conversation today or we’re having this conversation next week or two weeks from now whenever our season ends.”
A statement on Holliday’s behalf is expected to be released later this evening from the Cardinals.
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