Jaime Garcia (Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals expect to exercise their $12 million option for 2017 on left-hander Jaime Garcia.

The St. Louis Cardinals expect to exercise their $12 million option for 2017 on left-hander Jaime Garcia. Options on outfielder Matt Holliday and relief pitcher Jordan Walden will be declined.

The St. Louis Cardinals intend to exercise their 2017 contract option for $12 million on left-handed pitcher Jaime Garcia, according to a report from MLB.com, citing the club’s general manager John Mozeliak.  

Also as expected, the team will decline its 2017 options on left fielder Matt Holliday ($17 million) and right-handed reliever Jordan Walden ($5.25 million), also per Mozeliak. The Cardinals will owe buyouts of $1 million to Holliday and $250,000 to Walden, making them free agents.


These decisions are required by MLB rules to be made official within five days of the completion of the World Series.

Garcia had an up-and down 2016, but holds value in a market that has few free agent starting options. The Cardinals have to decide among a group of seven legitimate starters for five jobs – Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Lance Lynn, Mike Leake, Michael Wacha, rookie Alex Reyes and Garcia. The seven does not include former closer Trevor Rosenthal, two starters injured last season, Marco Gonzales and Tim Cooney, or another rookie, Luke Weaver.

Trades could be possible from that apparent starting pitching surplus to address other needs, such as center field.  


Other free agents

The MLB Players Association also announced 139 free agents across the game, including two Cardinals, outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss and pitcher Jerome Williams.

The Cardinals have a decision whether to make Moss a qualifying offer for a one-year contract at $17.2 million or let him leave without compensation. If Moss is offered by St. Louis but does not accept, the club would receive a supplemental first-round draft pick.

A journeyman right-hander, Williams is not expected back for 2017.

Unless made a qualifying offer, the two are eligible to negotiate and sign a contract with any Major League club beginning at 12:01 AM EST on Tuesday, November 8.


The Cardinals do not plan to make a qualifying offer to Moss, per a Thursday report from ESPN's Mark Saxon.


More details behind these decisions and many others are in the following article. 

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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