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Phillies going hard after Holliday

DANA POINT, Calif. -- The world champion Phillies are one of the most aggressive pursuers of Rockies superstar outfielder Matt Holliday, sources tell SI.com.

The Rockies surely would be interested in Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino, but it isn't known whether Philadelphia would consider moving him. The Phillies have several other well-regarded young players, including catcher Lou Marson, shortstop Jason Donald and pitcher Carlos Carrasco. Sources indicate that the Phillies have enough good young players to be able to do a deal for Holliday if the sides can agree.

Baseball executives expect Holliday to be traded at some point this offseason, but nothing appears imminent.

Holliday batted .321 in 2008, his fourth straight .300 season, but he dipped to 25 home runs and 88 RBIs, the first time since 2005 that he failed to top 30 HRs and 100 RBIs. Holliday is on the trading block because he will be eligible for free agency after the 2009 season and the Rockies have concluded they have no hope to retain him. SI.com reported Wednesday that Holliday turned down Colorado's offer of $68 million over four years plus an option that would bring it to $85 million.

Any teams interested in acquiring Holliday understand that they will be getting him for only one year. Several teams have shown interest, including the A's, Mets and Rays, but so far it appears the Phillies may have the best chance among those teams.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals are also going after Holliday aggressively.

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