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

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Oct 8, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) looks on during NLDS workout day prior to game one of the NLDS against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Prognosis

At this point in time, my guess is that Holliday will not be worth his 2017 option, especially given his recent injury issues and his rapidly declining defensive ability.  I also question whether all three of Piscotty, Grichuk, and Pham can be full-time players in 2017.

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There are enough questions surrounding these three players (injury history, BABIP regression, questionable plate discipline) that it might be best to see these three players as capable of filling (at most) two starting spots.  I also do not see any outfielders in the Cardinals’ minor league system that are going to end up being capable of seizing a starting job any time in the near future.

If the Cardinals have a similar assessment of their outfield situation over the next few years, then it appears as though they will have to sign at least one free agent outfielder either this offseason or next offseason, unless they are able to pull off a trade.

Given the options available a year from now, this offseason may be their best chance to bring in an impact player capable of holding down a starting outfield spot for the next few years.  Matt Holliday is going to be a tough player to replace for St. Louis and it is going to show in the next few seasons.

Not saying that St. Louis is going to struggle to win, because they will not, but they will be limited if something is not done through free agency or a trade during the season.  If the Cardinals can wait things out this offseason and find a situation where one of the top outfielders is willing to sign for less than expected, they should not hesitate to jump at the opportunity.