|Holliday's situation looks familiar|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on December 29, 2009
Jason Bay's new deal with the Mets forces Matt Holliday's hand.
Bay, who agreed to a four-year deal worth $66 million on Tuesday, was the only other superstar bat available in the free agent market. With John Lackey having signed, Holliday remains the only player who figures to sign for a load of money this offseason.
The Red Sox reportedly offered Holliday about $85 million over five years, but that money went to Lackey. The team also signed Mike Cameron to provide solid defense in the outfield.
The other known club to have made an offer to Holliday was St. Louis, and the Cardinals now hold the advantage in negotiations.
Scott Boras could argue that Holliday is the only superstar free agent who could fill in the tremendous lineup gap behind Albert Pujols. He could also lord over the Cardinals the fact that they need to spend money to keep their superstar first baseman appeased.
But what, exactly, is Holliday's market? There are no other teams willing to shell out plenty of money to sign Holliday. The Angels may be considered a dark horse team by some, but it's doubtful they would spend any money. They have been reluctant to make big gambles recently.
The Giants think that Holliday is too expensive for the team to add, and it appears the Yankees are adamant about not spending a lot of money on their next left fielder. Boston would have to make a lot happen before it could bring in Holliday, even if it wanted to now.
The Cardinals are in the same position as the Dodgers were last season with Manny Ramirez. Ramirez was looking for a four-year deal worth about $100 million, but he had to settle for something half that big.
Look for history to repeat itself. Holliday will sign with the Cardinals, and it's going to be on the team's terms. It's been reported the average annual value (AAV) of the Cardinals' offer to Holliday has been in the neighborhood of $15 million.
Try as Boras might, there's not going to be anything bigger than that on the free agent market.
But this is an ideal situation for Holliday and the Cardinals. Well, assuming new Cardinals hitting coach Mark McGwire doesn't want to change Holliday's swing, as he did last offseason.
As you can remember, Holliday started the season in a terrible slump before changing his swing.