Matt Holliday is still producing for St. Louis.
In a MLB Network Radio interview this week, the former Cardinals star nailed it when asked about Giancarlo Stanton's possible hesitancy to play in St. Louis — compared to staying with his current team, the Miami Marlins, or being traded to a National League team in California.
Here's Holliday on the topic:
“Look, you got all offseason to live in Miami or LA, or wherever he wants to live, but for six months, man, getting after it as a baseball player in St. Louis, there’s no better place. You get the chance to play for a winning franchise, in a city that loves baseball that would revere him for the next 10 years as their superstar to kind of build their team around. I just think that it’s a better opportunity than maybe people are thinking.
“Because as baseball players you don't really have a ton of time during the season to do the nightlife and do the things that people maybe knock on St. Louis compared to Miami and L.A. If you're a baseball player who loves to play ball, like I think Giancarlo is, there's no better place to be. And I think (the Cardinals) are going to be competitive, they've got a nice farm system, a good nucleus of young players. I think it's a good situation, especially when you consider that — if you tie yourself into L.A. and it doesn't work out, then you've got this whole mess of 'We have to trade all the other players, and you'll be stuck here without a great cast of characters.'”
Hard to argue those points by Holliday, who played seven-plus seasons in St. Louis from 2009-16 — a run that included five straight postseason appearances and a World Series championship.
The San Francisco Giants are enticing to Stanton, sure. They need a slugger and have a championship tradition (and a gorgeous ballpark in a huge West Coast market). They also lost nearly 100 games last season.
The Dodgers are enticing, too. Stanton would probably vie for a championship. But are even the richest of teams willing to pay that much for Stanton? He still is owed $295 million on the 10-year contract he signed with the Marlins.
The Cardinals aren't the only fit for Stanton, I won't be naive in that regard. But they sure seem to check all the boxes.