SI's John Heyman said it may be a no-trade clause, not money, that is the deciding factor in Matt Holliday's next contract. He writes:
•Matt Holliday is an instant hero in St. Louis. He's raising his value, though Cardinals folks are still hopeful to keep him there. Scott Rolen's public regrets this week over his falling out with manager Tony La Russa and his subsequent trade to Toronto showed once again how players love to play in St. Louis. Holliday is likely to benefit as a free agent from potential interest from both New York teams and Boston (if it doesn't re-sign Jason Bay), but some folks who know him suggest he isn't the type to necessarily go to the highest bidder and may be more likely to press for a no-trade clause.
SI's John Heyman thinks getting a chance to team up with Albert Pujols and play in St. Louis may be more important that signing for top dollar to Matt Holliday when he becomes a free agent at season's end. AP Photo.
I think a no-trade for Holliday is completely reasonable for a lot of reasons, not the least of which would be Holliday's willingness to take less money to play somewhere he wants to be. Besides, the Cardinals have set a precedent for no-trade deals that would be hard to deny him.
Not only did Scott Rolen have no-trade protection in his deal. But Kyle Lohse, a much less sought after free agent than Holliday, got one just last year. This in no way should be a deal breaker. Especially when we learn that players, like Rolen, are often motivated to waive their clauses when things sour where they originally signed.
If nothing else, the Cardinals decision to trade for Holliday and Mark DeRosa have re-established the team's position as a favorite destination of players. Having supportive fans is nice. But being on a team that has a chance to win it all is up at the top of the checklist for free agents.