As much as I have beaten the Matt Holliday drum over the last two years, I have to admit, I have just about given up all hope of the Cardinals late season savior sticking around for another five or so seasons.
Sure, he could decide he just loves St. Louis so much that he wants to leave a bunch of cash on the table. But his agent, Scott Boras is making the rounds today to compare Holliday to last year's big free agent prize, Mark Teixeiria. And, if Boras thinks someone will pay anywhere close to the $180 million Tex got last season from the Yankees, the Cardinals are out of the conversation.
Through their 29th birthday season:
Teixeira .290, 242HR
Holliday .318, 152HR
Obviously, Holliday knows his way around a bat. But he hasn't shown the power of Teixeira even though he played the vast majority of his career in the hitter friendly confines of Coors Field. He is also no match with the glove for Teixeira and plays a position that is much easier to fill.
A lot of people are going to proclaim the trade for Holliday, which cost St. Louis top prospect Brett Wallace, is a bust if the Birds don't re-sign Holliday. But, as much as I have been on the case of management for not opening up the wallet in the past, that sort of money is ridiculous and would virtually guarantee the Cardinals couldn't afford to sign Albert Pujols to a contract extension.
Yeah, not signing Holliday is going to be a blow to that effort. But we have to be realistic. And the fact of the matter is that the economics of baseball as they stand today do not allow a team attendance amongst the top five clubs in baseball to afford any of the games 25 or so best players. And that stinks.
Hopefully the Cardinals will be able to appease Pujols by replacing Holliday with Jason Bay... or more likely someone from the next tier of free agents like Bobby Abreu.