Predicting the Yankees’ Moves at the Upcoming Winter Meetings

Aug 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY
Aug 6, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY /
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Apr 28, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 28, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) looks on against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks won 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Signing Matt Holliday to Fill the DH Vacancy

Buster Olney of ESPN recently reported that the Yankees were on the lookout for bargains to fill their designated hitter job because of the “flush buyers’ market” for veteran sluggers. While I would love to see them go for a premium model like Edwin Encarnacion or Jose Bautista, I just don’t see them going three to four years on a guy like that when they have so many other viable options.

John Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball revealed in a recent column that the team has been in contact with Holliday’s representatives, and it seems possible they could swoop in with a healthy one-year offer next week during the Meetings and take care of that need early. Something in the $10-12 million range should probably be enough to get Holliday to put pen to paper.

Even during a “down” 2016 campaign, Holliday put up a solid .246/.322/.461 (107 OPS+) batting line with 20 home runs and 62 RBI in 426 plate appearances. Most of that value was given back with his poor work in the field, but moving to DH full-time will put an end to that problem.

Holliday will turn 37 in January and has struggled to stay on the field the last two years after a decade as one of the most consistently productive power hitters in the game, so the whispers about his decline are inevitable.

Given his exceptional talent, however, I would be willing to bet he has one or two seasons as an above-average middle-of-the-order bat left in him. The Steamer projection system agrees, predicting a .275/.358/.465 (121 wRC+) with another 20 homers, 70 RBI, and 1.8 WAR.