St. Louis Cardinals: How will the team eventually replace Matt Holliday?

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Oct 9, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday hits a RBI single against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning in game one of the NLDS at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

With the years against Matt Holliday, what would the St. Louis Cardinals look like without the great slugger?

As the years’ have passed since Matt Holliday signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in January of 2010, Holliday’s big contract is starting to come to an end.

The 35 year-old left fielder signed a 7 year $120 million contract with St. Louis in free agency after recently being traded to the team in 2010.  Matt could be looking at his last year in a Cardinals uniform where he will make $17M come seasons end.

Holliday’s Option

Holliday does have a 2017 Vesting Option of $17m ($1M buyout), in which the option can be exercised automatically if he finishes in the top 10 in the 2016 MVP vote.  Who knows? Stranger things have happened, but most likely the aging Holliday will not wind up in that category.  In many of the Cardinal fans’ eyes, Matt Holliday has been the foundation to the organization (other than Molina) for the last six years now.

Holliday is going to go down not only in Cardinal history, but as well as in Major League baseball history as one of the best hitters in the game.  As a matter of fact, Holliday has won the Silver Slugger Award now in four different years now and a NLCS MVP Player Award with the Colorado Rockies.  The biggest concern however that Cardinal Nation is going to come across is who does St. Louis have to replace a man of this stature and where do they have to turn going forward? Let’s jump in and take a look.

As of now, Holliday is projected by Steamer to be worth 2.1 WAR in 2016.  With another year of decline, it may be a stretch to envision Holliday being worth $17 million in 2017.  If Holliday and Moss are gone after next year, the Cardinals’ only outfield options for 2017 would be Piscotty, Grichuk, and Pham.  Perhaps Charlie Tilson or Anthony Garcia will be in the major leagues at that point, but neither of these players projects to be more than a bench player.