Holliday, who turns 37 next month, fits into the Yankees' strategy of signing veterans to short-term deals while pivoting toward a youth movement.
The Cardinals informed Holliday that they wouldn't pick up his $17 million option in late September, allowing the team and Holliday to plan his farewell on the team's final homestand of 2016. In what were supposed to be largely ceremonial at-bats, Holliday, still recovering from a broken right thumb, swatted a home run and had a key RBI single. He got a roaring ovation when manager Mike Matheny sent him out, alone, to left field and then immediately subbed him out on the final day of the regular season.
A seven-time All-Star, Holliday was viewed as lineup protection for Albert Pujols when he arrived in St. Louis in a trade from theOakland Athleticsduring the 2010 season. Then he became one of the few players to live up to a massive long-term contract. Over the course of the seven-year, $120 million extension Holliday signed going into the 2011 season, he batted .288 with an .863 OPS and 143 home runs.
Holliday figures to be primarily a designated hitter in a lineup where the projected outfield has Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Brett Gardner in left and 24-year-old Aaron Judge in right. Aaron Hicks and Tyler Austin are the backups.
Holliday, 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, has never been the most graceful outfielder. He dropped a soft line drive in Game 2 of the 2009 National League Division Series against theLos Angeles Dodgers.Late in his stay in St. Louis, he began to play sporadically at first base.
ESPN Cardinals reporter Mark Saxon contributed to this report.