Reports out of San Francisco are that the Giants have offered Mark DeRosa about $12 million over two years.
This is likely going to force the Cardinals hand on some level. The common perception is that DeRosa is Plan B if the Birds can't sign Matt Holliday. So does St. Louis rush in and try to grab DeRosa or continue to hold out for Holliday, possibly ending up with neither?
I STILL Believe the Cardinals can afford BOTH. Especially at $6 million a year for DeRosa, which is about two-thirds of what he was originally asking. Including expected raises for arbitration eligible players and the additon of Brad Penny, the Birds have about $77 million in salaries on the books. Their offer for Holliday is about $16 million a year. To sign both players then would put the Cardinals at $101 million or only $1 million over their self imposed budget cap.
As we have discussed on these pages time and time again, that cap is ridiculous. The Phillies, Tigers and Astros -- all of whom have a similar if not smaller revenue stream than the Cardinals -- all spent a lot more on payroll than St. Louis. A payroll of somewhere between $105 million and $115 million is not only extremely reasonable for the team with the fourth best attendance in the majors, it could make the Cardinals A LOT better ballclub. (Or they could give DeRosa $5 million the first year and $7 million the second if that makes it fit better...)
They don't really have to advertise their desire to keep Holliday even after the signed DeRosa.
Let Holliday and agent Scott Boras sweat over whether the slugging left fielder's best suitor is still willing to sign him. Of course, the down side of this is that the Birds have a way of letting one free agent slip throught their hands and then declaring -- instead of spending the money elsewhere -- that the cash has evaporated and there is none left to spend on others.
So, I don't know what to root for anymore.
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