Is the market for Matt Holliday shrinking?
With recent reports the Yankees and Angels, thought to be two of the more financially resourceful teams interested in Holliday supposedly turning their attention inwards, the market remains in flux.
The Yankees would like to retain their own free-agents, which would include left fielder Johnny Damon. The Angels, meanwhile, said their interest is re-signing John Lackey and Chone Figgins. Prior to today’s report in the Los Angeles Times, the Angels appeared lukewarm in wanting to bring back Lackey.
If the Yankees and Angels aren’t interested in Holliday, he might come back to the market in much the manner Johan Santana did two winters ago. The Mets, Giants and Cardinals have all been linked to Holliday.
Holliday hit .313, with 24 homers and 109 RBI for Oakland and St. Louis last season. He enjoyed his stay with the Cardinals, but it was only for two months and he was renting. Boras said there would be no home-team discount.
Count out the Red Sox, who want to re-sign Jason Bay, and Dodgers, who are saddled with another year of Manny Ramirez.
However, the winter meetings are still weeks away, so it is premature to say anything is etched in stone. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.
Original reports had Holliday seeking a $96-million package over six years. If the market dwindles shouldn’t also the price? Not necessarily with Scott Boras as his agent. Boras got Mark Teixeira $180 million last winter in a supposed down market, but Holliday isn’t that kind of player. Teixeira is a switch-hitting Gold Glover, and last year the Yankees were in a shop mode. This off-season they might be more reserved.
What of the Mets?
After falling out of the money the last three years, with last season a total collapse from June on, the Mets are desperate to bring on a power bat. Holliday isn’t a great defender, but let’s face it, he’ll win more games with his bat than lose with his glove or arm.
Holliday would make the Mets’ offense better, but it would be substantially improved with the healthy return of forms of Carlos Beltran and David Wright. Translation: Holliday wouldn’t put them over the top.
However, the Mets’ primary need is to bolster its rotation which has questions with everybody including Santana, who is coming off surgery. The Mets, who weren’t going to get Lackey anyway, will focus on a middle tier pitcher, such as Joel Pineiro or Jason Marquis.