According the the Hardball Times, with Plan B apparently off the table as Mark DeRosa has reached an agreement with the Giants, the Cardinals might head straight for Plan X, should they fail to sign Matt Holliday.
That's right, the next guy on the list to play left field is apparently Xavier Nady (and possibly some pitching help).
According the the Baseball Times:
Those who are already declaring that the 31-year old Nady will be one of the best value signings of the offseason must not have seen the numbers that indicate that Nady has only had one season since entering the big leagues for good in 2003 where he's been worth more than 1.2 wins above replacement. He's basically a league average hitter, playing league average defense, at a corner outfield position. Dan Szymborski's ZIPS projections at Baseball Think Factory have Nady projected for a .780 OPS while Sean Smith's CHONE projections at Baseball Projection have him projected for .769. Nady's career average OPS is .792. By replacing Holliday with Nady, the team would probably be going from Holliday's 5.5 to 6 wins to Nady's 1.5 to 2. A team with division, league, and major league championships on its mind is going to need those four wins.
The Cardinals cannot afford to be left standing with no substantial acquisitions when the music stops playing if they intend to repeat as NL Central champions in 2010. Many in Cardinal nation are ready to give Holliday a 24 or 48-hour take-it-or-leave-it offer and move on to someone else. It's too early for such a dramatic step but if many more of these free agents start to come off the board, we may not be too far from that step. At some point, the Cardinals may have to do exactly that which will put Boras and Holliday in the unenviable position of either settling for the Cards' offer or calling the team's bluff. The clock is, therefore, ticking for both the team and for Boras. In the interim, Boras has to come up with another suitor for Holliday's services before the Cardinals get tired of watching plans C, D, E, F, and G go off the board.