While some Cubs (and Mets and Red Sox and Brewers) fans have mocked the Cardinals for their $120 million signing of Matt holliday, The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers said he thinks it may have positioned the Birds as the dominant team in the National League Central "for years to come."
Rogers points out, for the statistically inclined, that the current St. Louis lineup boasts 230 win shares for the highest rank in the NL Central. The runner up Brewers are barely in the rear view mirror at 180 win shares while the Cubs, who dwarf St. Louis and the Brew Crew with their $140 million plus payroll, score only 166 win shares.
Albert Pujols leads the way with 39 win shares for the Cardinals while Holliday was good for another 25. The Cubs leader was Derek Lee with 24 while the newly acquired Marlon Byrd was good for second on the squad with 20.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak, left fielder Matt Holliday and Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. at the press conference announcing Holliday signed a seven-year contract extension with the Cardinals. Photo by Zia Nizami, Belleville News-Democrat.
Rogers said the Pujols-Holliday combination is going to be awesome for the Cardinals.
"....whether it's for two years, five years or even longer, the pairing of Holliday and Pujols -- along with emerging ace Adam Wainwright and a healthy Chris Carpenter -- gives the Cardinals a chance to dominate the NL Central," Rogers wrote. "Never mind that the Cubs project a 2010 payroll of at least $140 million. There is no comparing these teams as they head toward spring training.
Of course, the games aren't played on paper. But it is nice for the first time in a while to be the favorite.
Click here to read Rogers' entire column.