1-Year Contract Is Just Stopgap As Youth Movement Continues, But Expect Slugger To DH, Play Some 1B

By Sweeny Murti
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OXON HILL, Md. (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees opened business for everyone at the Winter Meetings on Sunday night, agreeing with veteran slugger Matt Holliday on a one-year, $13 million deal.

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With the A-Rod fiasco behind them, Carlos Beltran on his way to Houston, and Brian McCann traded there as well last month, the Yankees were in the rare position of needing a designated hitter. Holliday will be their man.

One of the more durable and productive players in baseball for a decade, Holliday suffered through a few injuries the last two seasons, including a broken thumb in 2016 and torn quadriceps in 2015. Holliday, who will turn 37 in January, is a career .303 hitter with an .897 OPS. But those numbers dipped to career-lows of .246 and .782 in 110 games this past season.

A seven-time All-Star, Holliday has 295 home runs and 1,153 RBIs during his 13-year career.

This is a short-term fix for the Yankees, who needed a versatile body (in part to backup lefty-swinging Greg Bird at first base). Perhaps DH will allow Holliday to stay a little healthier and productive. And his veteran leadership is something the Yankees were missing with the losses I mentioned above.

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The next order of business will be bringing back Aroldis Chapman, making the dollars and years meet in the right place, obviously, and re-stacking the back end of a bullpen that has Dellin Betances and Tyler Clippard locked in. The Yankees could also be interested in one of the pricey lefties still on the market — Boone Logan, Mike Dunn, or Jerry Blevins.

The Yankees also need starting pitching, and even though they might not leave here with another starter, I feel as if general manager Brian Cashman could lay the groundwork for a deal that will materialize in the coming weeks.

One other note from the first day of the Winter Meetings, Bud Selig and John Schuerholz won election to the Hall of Fame through the latest veteran’s committee called the Today’s Game Era Committee.

From the 16-member panel, 12 votes were needed for election. Schuerholz was a unanimous choice, while Selig received 15 votes. George Steinbrenner and Davey Johnson were among the other canidates, but both received fewer than five votes.

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