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Stark says Cards can't afford Holliday

Jayson Stark posts that he doesn't think the Cardinals can afford to keep Matt Holliday.

He quotes an un-named AL executive who thinks St. Louis can't support more than a $100 million payroll and says that the team couldn't afford to re-sign Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright if they ink Holliday.

This is a great example of outsider suppositions from someone who isn't willing to stand up for their comments by putting their name on the line.

First, the Cardinals had a $100 million payroll a couple of years ago and said in 2007 that they could afford $110 million to $115 million.

Second, re-sign Carp and Wainwright? Wainwright just signed a contract last year and it's a little early to start thinking about that. Carp is in the middle of a long term deal that will leave him with a scary injury history and in his late thirties when it's up. He's almost surely not going to sign a new deal here.

Third, if the Cardinals can't afford Holliday AND Pujols, they can't afford Pujols. He isn't going to stay here and be a one-man show. He has made that quite clear.

Fourth, the Cardinals irritated their fans for two years by penny pinching and refusing to get into the pennant race. Fans are coming out in droves now that they picked up Holliday -- who said on the radio this morning that he loves St. Louis and wants to stay long term -- and Mark DeRosa. Does the team want to fill the park and be competitive or pinch pennies and reinforce negative perceptions that had begun to fester?

Fifth, and we have been through this many times before... Troy Glaus, Joel Pineiro, Khalil Greene, Todd Wellemeyer and Rick Ankiel will all be free agents at year's end, freeing up more than $30 million. Only Pineiro has a snowball's chance of coming back in 2010.

The Redbirds are actually in pretty good conditions as far as the payroll goes with key pieces Yadi Molina, Brendan Ryan, Ryan Ludwick, Ryan Franklin and Colby Rasmus in team control at good prices.

Simply put, signing Holliday would put the Cardinals in good shape through the 2011 season. It is THE ONLY move to make.

Click here to read the Stark post.