KSDK -- Flanked by St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak and team owner Bill DeWitt, free agent signing Matt Holliday held up his new jersey, featuring a brand new number, after signing the richest contract in team history.
Holliday said he decided on returning to St. Louis a few days ago, finalizing the seven-year, $120 million contract on Thursday.
"We are setting the path for another decade of success," Mozeliak said.
Holliday, who was traded to the St. Louis in July from the Oakland Athletics, batted .353 with 13 homers and 55 RBIs in 63 games for the Cardinals. His ability to protect slugger Albert Pujols in the lineup helped propel the Cardinals to the National League Central Title. Pujols won the National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Citing the team's commitment to win, Holliday said the decision to resign was also made easier because his family was well treated during his two month stay. For the time being, his family will keep their home in Austin, Texas and split living between there and St. Louis.
Other teams did make offers to Holliday. "I had options," he said, but would not go into greater detail. The free agency was a stressful period, he said, but overall a pleasant experience.
Holliday and Pujols did not discuss his future with the club during the holidays, exchanging only text messages around Christmas. However, Holliday believes Pujols will be a Cardinal for the long term, and that helped in his decision to stay.
As for the new jersey number, Holliday said he wanted to make a change from Jim Edmond's old number. Next season, Holliday will be sporting the No. 7 jersey, although it wasn't necessarily his first choice.
"I offered Albert a watch (for No. 5), but apparently he already has one," Holliday quipped.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.