Cheap Seats

Rumor Mill: Matt Holliday, Josh Willingham on Cards radar

With the asking price for Roy Halladay in the stratosphere, the Cardinals are focusing on finding a left fielder, according to reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle says that the Athletics have dangled Matt Holliday in exchange for top St. Louis prospect Chris Wallace... and the Cardinals are seriously considering it... although Holliday will be a free agent at the end of the season and it could prove to be a very short term rental.

The Chronicle reports that the Cardinals second favorite option is Nats fly chase Josh Willingham who is hitting .297 with 13 homers. The 30 year old's best season came in 2006 when he was with the Marlins and hit .277 with 26 homers. This year he has a .415 on base percentage and a .569 slugging percentage.

Let me throw out one more statistic and see what you think the Cardinals will do:

Matt Holliday's 2009 salary: $13.5 million

Josh Willingham's 2009 salary; $2.95 million

As I have said a million times before, I like Holliday and I think he would be a great fit in St. Louis. But I mostly balk at the fact that he will be a free agent at the end of the season. I would be much more game if the Cardinals could get him to sign a one-year extension as a contingency of the deal.

It would make a lot of sense for both sides. The Cardinals could get some guaranteed return on their investment while Holliday, who has had a mediocre at best season in Oakland, would have a year to rebuild his market value and skip what is shaping up to be another down year for big dollar contracts.

Give him another year of $13-$14 million to replace with money saved from Troy Glaus ($11.25 million) and Adam Kennedy's ($4 million) and hope he falls in love with playing here like Mark McGwire, Mike Matheny and Jim Edmonds...