St. Louis' Matt Holliday becomes final free agent

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Outfielder Matt Holliday became the final free agent, formally leaving the St. Louis Cardinals when he and the team agreed to waive a provision in his contract that would have guaranteed his 2017 salary if he finishes among the top 10 in NL MVP voting.

The 36-year-old certainly will not finish among the top 10 when voting is announced Nov. 17, so the move makes him a free agent one week earlier. He hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games, missing substantial time after his left thumb was broken when he was hit by a pitch on Aug. 11.

He was brought into the Cardinals' season finale to play left field in the ninth inning. He was given a standing ovation and taken out before the next pitch. On the start of the season's last weekend, the Cardinals said they planned to decline his $17 million option for 2017.

Holliday, who still gets a $2 million buyout, became a free agent Thursday, three days after the other 157 eligible players went free. He was held up because of the vesting provision.

A seven-time All-Star, Holliday was drafted by Colorado in 1998, traded to Oakland after the 2008 season and then dealt to St. Louis the following July.

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