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Cardinals, Greg Holland agree to deal

The free-agent closer will head to St. Louis, a place that has been seen as a great fit all along.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals have agreed to a one-year, $14 million deal with free-agent closer Greg Holland, according to a major-league source. FanRag’s Jon Heyman and The Athletic’s Mark Saxon first reported the deal.

Holland began the winter by declining his $15 million player option with the Rockies and the club’s $17.4 million qualifying offer, fully expecting to receive a multi-year deal on the open market. Instead, he will receive less than either of his previous offers would have guaranteed, signaling another major casualty in an offseason in which free-agent prices have been greatly suppressed.

Holland was the last of the major free agents still available on the open market, signing months after fellow top closer Wade Davis signed with the Rockies. Holland was reported to be in serious talks with Colorado before the team signed Davis, and has been linked to the Cardinals as the favorite in the months since.

Holland, 32, will provide an immediate answer at closer for a Cardinals club that seemed to be lacking a proven back-end option entering the season. He’ll join new additions Dominic Leone, Bud Norris and Luke Gregerson in the Cards’ bullpen after a strong season in Denver in which he posted a 3.61 ERA and saved a league-leading 41 games.

The Cardinals will be the third team for Holland, who spent six years with the Royals before missing all of 2016 due to injury and signing an incentive-laden deal with the Rox last winter. He’s a three-time All-Star who has finished within the top 10 in Cy Young voting on two occasions.