If the Cardinals can't strike a deal to bring Matt Holliday to town, they will likely turn their focus to starting pitching, according to ESPN.
My guess, based on what is left on the market, that the Birds' first choice might be their own free agent, Joel Pineiro, whose cost has come down quite a bit from projections that he would get $50 million over five years. $25 million over three years sounds much more like it these days.
Meanwhile, the Mets say they have nothing against Matt Holliday, but they chose to focus on Jason Bay because his agent is easier to deal with than Holliday's. No argument here. Does it help Scott Boras more than it hurts him to drag his negotiations out? While more teams may eventually join the fray, how often does a team like the Mets lock up the easier to get person instead of putting all of their eggs in the Boras basket?
The Mets have threatened to pull out of the pursuit of Bay this week if the situation can't be resolved. While some say New York doesn't have the money to pay what Boras wants, Olney said the Mets' fans will go bonkers if the team doesn't make a huge free agent splash.
That factor, coupled with the fact that the Mets' new ballpark isn't very attractive to free agent hitters because it is so deep in the power alleys, makes the New York National Leaguers a prime candidate to overpay just like Boras wants.
Olney said the Yankees seem to be sincere in their claim that they want to keep their 2010 payroll beneath $200 million, which would seem to keep them out of the Holliday hunt.
I'm all about pitching. But investing in a long-term contract with Pineiro doesn't excite me. He's an above average pitcher at his best. But he has spent the bulk of his career as a below average hurler. While they are vulnerable because all four of their established starters -- Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny -- have spend significant time on the disabled list over the last two years, spending a $7.5 to $8 milllion a year on a fifth starter doesn't seem like the most efficient use of money...
And I don't think signing a back end starter does anything to accomplish the Cardinals's secondary goal of impressing Albert Pujols they are committed to winning.