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Red Sox shifting attention to Holliday?

The Red Sox seem to be shifting their priorities from Jason Bay to Matt Holliday, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. And that could be bad news for the Cardinals.

As we have discussed on these pages before, where the Red Sox go, the Yankees and their big checkbook is likely to follow. So this maybe the doorway to the bidding war agent Soctt Boras is hoping for.

The free agent market has been slow to develop not only because of the lack of five-star talent but because teams are perplexed about how the market is going to play out due to the recession. No one seems to want to make the first move.

That's also bad news for the Cardinals because they can't wait around for Holliday to make a decision while other opportunities disappear. They are probably going to have to make an offer -- if they are serious about bringing Holliday back -- sooner that later to at least see if they are in the ballpark.

The thing that may help the Cardinals the most is that the Red Sox are reportedly tied up in trade talks with the Blue Jays over top shelf starter Roy Halladay, and if they get him, that might suck up some of the money they might have otherwise used on a slugger.

Bay, it is predicted, would likely command about $60 million over four years while Holliday is expected to draw a six or seven-year deal worth upwards of $100 million.