The Holliday Season
- Updated: December 16, 2009
So far, the Cardinals’ hot stove season can basically be summed up into two words.
Everything the Cardinals have or haven’t done since the end of the World Series has been directly or indirectly tied to their pursuit of the outfielder. Their talks with Scott Boras were the focus of their winter meetings in Indianapolis. The organization did not make an official offer while in Indy, preferring to return home and digest the information before making their first bid. However, that’s all anyone wanted to talk about, at least in relation to St. Louis.
John Mozeliak has made a point of saying they aren’t going to let the negotiations drag out. When it was made known on Friday that they had made their offer to Holliday and his agent, Mozeliak indicated he thought he’d hear back from that camp over the weekend and might know by the middle of this week whether they needed to move on.
As of this writing late Monday night, however, no word has been released on the response of Holliday and Boras to the offer of the Cardinals. Rumor has it that it was an eight-year contract worth between $14 million and $16 million per year. While Boras was said to be unimpressed, this is also the agent that apparently was floating a 10 year, $220 million idea for Holliday’s services. If Boras can get that for Holliday in any market, much less an economically depressed one as this, I’m going to see what he can get me for full-time blogging services. Because obviously he’s a miracle worker.
Up-to-the-minute, though, St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Joe Strauss is indicating on his Twitter feed that there is movement on the Holliday front, and likely positive movement at that. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the next few days, but I think there is a strong possibility Holliday remains in St. Louis and for less money than some had thought, mainly because the market for his services never seems to have panned out. The Dodgers and the Mets both seemed to be more focused on Jason Bay, leaving Holliday with few places to go.
If Holliday does resign, it gives the Cardinals a potent lineup, with him and Albert Pujols in the middle, followed by Ryan Ludwick and Yadier Molina. Skip Schumaker will lead off most nights, Colby Rasmus should continue to develop as a power bat, and most every spot in the diamond will be filled, with the notable exception of third base.
At the moment, the Cardinals are looking to have rookie (though he got a cup of coffee last year) David Freese man the hot corner. Freese has demonstrated solid power in the minors and would have had a better shot last year if he hadn’t been coming off an ankle injury sustained in a car crash. However, Freese was picked up for DWI Sunday night, leaving his position in the grand scheme of things a little unclear, though if Holliday does sign, Freese likely stays the front runner for monetary reasons.
St. Louis did make a notable move while in Indy, signing free agent pitcher Brad Penny to a one-year, incentive-laden deal. Dave Duncan is very excited to work with Penny, whom he doesn’t believe has ever really hit his full potential. If he is able to get Penny to be better than before, he’ll be a dominant #3 starter, with Kyle Lohse likely moving to the #4 spot and becoming the best #4 man in the league.
If these reports are true and Holliday is on his way back to St. Louis, the Cardinals will likely be considered one of the favorites for the NL pennant next year. We’ll just have to wait and see if this Holliday will be the most wonderful time of the year, or if the Cardinals will instead be having a blue Christmas.