Cheap Seats

Holliday blues

The weekend has passed without any visible movement in the Matt Holliday situation, and less than a week after I praised the Cardinals for their seemingly realistic efforts to sign the slugging leftfielder, I am beginning to lose faith.

The original reports of an eight-year offer to Holliday don't seem to be all they were cracked up to be. Instead, the Birds are now said to have a five-year offer on the table that falls a couple million short of the offer the Red Sox made before moving on.

I certainly understand the Cardinals' desire to get Holliday at the best price possible. But it doesn't make any sense to continue to have a staring contest. Both sides need to be actively negotiating to figure out if they can come to a reasonable conclusion to this deadlock... Or if it's time to move on.

Holliday's agent, Scott Boras, has to understand by this point that no one is going to sweep in with a $180-million offer when the bidding currently stands at $80 million. Even if the Yankees or Mets jump in at the last minute, why would they pay so much more than they knew they had to?

We've all heard the talk that Holliday has confided in his Cardinals teammates that he really wants to stay in St. Louis. So prove it.

I'm to the point where I wonder if Holliday accepts the St. Louis contract as is if it would be a problem. When a guy holds out so hard in hopes that someone -- anyone -- will offer him more, you have to wonder if he will be so embittered that he didn't get more that it causes attitude problems in the future. After all, he seems to be desperately holding out someone -- like non-contending Baltimore -- will offer him a couple million more.

If it makes everybody happy and gets the deal done, give Holliday a sixth year. That would make the Cardinals' committment really close to the seven-year, $90-million contract they gave Scott Rolen in 2004.