With Mark DeRosa leaving and Joel Pineiro set to leave, the St. Louis Cardinals were poised to be significantly worse (on paper) in 2010 than they were at the close of the 2009 season.
Oh, yeah, but there was that Matt Holliday guy.
The Cardinals have had a growing sense of optimism in recent weeks that they would be able to re-sign the left fielder and former batting champion, willing to let the market move around them while they focused on Holliday. Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said progress is “strong” and a resolution could come as early as next week.
Holliday’s representatives and Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed ongoing talks.
“I’m still hopeful,” Mozeliak wrote in a text message. “But there is still work to be done.”
The Cardinals have led the pursuit of Holliday, first making a formal offer three weeks ago to his agent, Scott Boras. The exact details of the Cardinals’ current offer are not publicly known. Sources indicated the sides have discussed several structures, including a five-year guaranteed deal and an eight-year framework.
The average annual salary would be higher in the shorter deal. The longer deal’s total worth, however, would surpass the largest contract ever finalized by the Cardinals — the $100-million extension signed by Albert Pujols in 2004.
Boras has been seeking an eight-year contract with an average salary that compares with the $18-million salaries Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Lee currently make and exceeds the $16.5-million salary Jason Bay reportedly just signed with the Mets. STLtoday.com.
Unless a big deal for Holliday puts a cramp in the Cardinals’ ability to lock up Albert Pujols long-term following 2011, this is nothing but bad news for Cubs fans. As we learned during the Rolen/Edmonds/Pujols years, when the Cardinals pack a couple or a few big-time hitters together in the lineup, they can score a ton of runs regardless of the crap surrounding them.