Just when Cardinals fans thought the negotiations for Matt Holliday might go a lot quicker and more painlessly than we thought, the Mets seem to be jumping into the fray.
Frustrated with the slow pace of talks with Jason Bay, the Mets are now ready to turn their attention to the other slugging left fielder on the market, according to SI.com.
New York had offered Bay a deal that would pay $65 million over four years and are said to be willing to add a fifth year for a total of $75 million to get a deal done. But word is that Bay, who lives near Vancouver in western Canada, is holding out on a similar deal from Seattle. He also has reportedly been talking to the Angels.
Meanwhile, the waters continue to muddy around the Cardinals' offer to Holliday. Described yesterday in media reports as $16 million a year over eight seasons -- or $128 million -- talk is now emerging that the contract is only for five years and a total of $80 million, possibly with some option years. If the Mets are willing to pay Bay that much, they would seem to be willing to pay Holliday, an all around better player, the same or more. And that means suddenly there is real competition from a major market club.
Yesterday it seemed that Holliday was signed, sealed and delivered by the unusually bold Cardinals. But today things seem considerably more up in the air. And isn't that just how agent Scott Boras likes it.
I think, all things being equal, that Holliday might prefer to play in St. Louis where the pressure is lower, he will benefit from batting in the same lineup as Albert Pujols and on a team that is, frankly, better.
The Mets play in a tougher division than the Cardinals and have a lot more holes than the Redbirds...
But the addition of a second serious suitor means that negotiations may become protracted and the price may quickly rise to a point that the Cardinals are unwilling to play. Both of those factors could be deal breakers.
The Cardinals need to make their last, best offer. And they need to do it now. Take it or leave it. Because that's their best chance to resolve this situation quickly and in their favor.
Click here to read the SI story about the Mets' interest in Holliday.