Former Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday was interested in becoming the team’s next manager.
The St. Louis Cardinals kept their managerial process secretive, but it was a foregone conclusion that Oli Marmol would be their next manager. Yet we do not know who the Cardinals interviewed throughout the process, though one of their most prominent former players wanted the job.
Matt Holliday was interested in the Cardinals’ managerial job, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, though it’s unclear if they talked to him about the position or if the interest was mutual.
But Holliday was mentioned immediately after Shildt was fired as a potential under-the-radar candidate. He retired in 2018 after 15 seasons in the majors, hitting .299/.379/.510 with 316 home runs and 1220 RBI. He made the All-Star team or received MVP votes in his first six full seasons in St. Louis, quickly establishing himself as one of the team’s foundational players from 2010 to 2016.
After he retired, Holliday transitioned into a coaching role at Oklahoma State alongside his brother Josh. He has an extensive relationship with Cardinals star third baseman Nolan Arenado from their time with the Rockies, with Holliday telling Ky3.com:
“Nolan and I have known each other for a long time. I got a chance to play with him in ’18. We talk a lot. He’s a great guy. … He’s probably the best defender at any position I’ve ever seen and played with. He’s very durable, leads by example, is a perfect ‘Cardinal Way’ kind of player, and I think he fits in really good with the group and the culture they have there.”
It’s unclear if the Cardinals want to add Holliday to the coaching staff even after hiring Marmol as manager, but hiring him could increase their chances of keeping Arenado beyond 2022. Of course, hiring Holliday would have to be more than just about Arenado — he would be tasked with helping Jeff Albert work with the team’s hitters — but having him to help their recruiting pitch after the 2022 season would be the icing on the cake.