The Cardinals signing of Matt Holliday has been named the worst pick-up of the off-season by MLB Trade Rumors.
The Web site criticizes the Birds, although it admits Holliday was the most talented offensive player available this off-season, for spending too much on the slugging left fielder when there were no other serious bidders.
Here's my problem with that: How does anyone besides Scott Boras and Matt Holliday know if there were other "serious bidders" or even define what a serious bid is?
Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday signed the richest deal of the recently-complted off-season, seven years for $120 million. AP photo.
If the Cardinals didn't land their man because Holliday signed a $25 million one-year contract with the Red Sox or Yankees, would that have been a good deal for St. Louis? Holliday said it was his top priority to get longterm security. But if the Cardinals offered him four years at $60 million and it didn't strike Holliday as the sort of longterm deal he wanted, maybe he would have been willing to test the market again next year.
Holliday said in an interview on ESPN last week that there were, in fact, other serious offers but that St. Louis won out because he enjoyed his time playing here after being traded to the Cardinals in 2009. How competitive the other offers were wasn't revealed. But if the Cardinals are comfortable with what they paid for Holliday, that's what matters. It's not like they gave him the richest contract in baseball history.
Agent Scott Boras originally asked for $180 million like Mark Teixeira got. The Birds, who showed their ability to stare down an agent by landing Felipe Lopez for a fraction of what he got last season, paid two-thirds of Holliday's sticker price. By that measure, his contract is a good deal.
The funniest part about the Holliday criticism is that no one seems to say that he isn't an elite player who is going to have a huge impact on the Cardinals lineup. If the Birds can have a $90 million paroll that includes two MVP candidates, two Cy Young candidates and a deep supporting cast, what is there to criticize as far as their spending goes?
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