ESPN's Buster Olney, who has been doing a great job keeping up on the breaking hot stove stuff, reports that the Cardinals are likely to sign Matt Holliday to a deal much like the one that was rumored two or three weeks ago.
It would be basically a five-year agreement with options that could make it run a long as eight years. It would be a guaranteed $82.5 to $85 million. But it would look like a more than $100-million deal on paper. Sort of like those crazy NFL contracts that claim they are for 20 years and $200 million. But when you scrape away the options it's actually three years and $18 million... That sort of thing.
That's good for the Cardinals who can get a player who was originally asking $20 million a season for $16-$16.5 million. It will also make the Redbirds look good in front of their fan base when they didn't exactly start this quest in hot pursuit of Holliday. Things had to fall into place for this deal to happen, but the Birds can shed their penny pinching image by bringing home the big gun -- even at their price.
It's also good for agent Scott Boras who can save face after predicting teams would be clamoring to give his client $180 million over eight years. Ultimately, if the Cardinals made Boras say uncle and take a straight $80 million for five years, he might look forward to a steady diet in the future of teams holding their ground and refusing to bid on his clients. It's good for his image to be able to make it look like he is still the big wheeler dealer -- and that he can actually work out deals with mid market clubs instead of funneling players to the Yankees, Mets and Red Sox.
In unrelated business, Olney reports the Dodgers are players for former Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro.
L.A.'s big park could be a good landing spot for Pineiro and his sinker. Not to mention that Dodger's NL West Division rivals San Diego and San Francisco also play in huge parks that could pad a hurler's stats and help him land a big contract if the market is better the next time he's a free agent.