The Yankees, having cleared more than $90 million from their payroll in the past six months, made their first foray into free agency in nearly two years on Sunday.
But a headfirst dive, with an accompanying big splash, this was not.
The Yankees instead waded into the free agent waters gingerly, filling their designated-hitter role by agreeing to a one-year, $13 million contract with the veteran outfielder Matt Holliday, according to a baseball official familiar with the terms who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical.
Holliday, a seven-time All-Star who will turn 37 next month, is coming off consecutive injury-plagued seasons in St. Louis, where he helped the Cardinals reach two World Series in seven and a half seasons. They won in 2011 and lost in 2013. Holliday also helped the Colorado Rockies to the World Series in 2007, when the Boston…