Matt Holliday Rumors

Matt Holliday, Cardinals Could Agree This Week

10:06pm: Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa says that any deal should be finalized this week, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The piece offers plenty of detail about this past weekend's negotiations, which have left the Cardinals with "a sense of optimism" regarding Holliday.

5:30pm: Sources tell ESPN.com's Buster Olney that the Cardinals and Holliday "are close to a deal."

12:35pm: It's been suggested that the Cardinals have offered multiple contract scenarios to Holliday.  One might have been seven years and $112MM, according to SI's Jon Heyman.  Also, Heyman talked to one source who believes the Orioles are "laying in the weeds" despite recent denials.

Meanwhile, Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch offers his take, in which he notes that silence from Cards GM John Mozeliak might be a positive sign.

8:30am: A Friday tweet by Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had some fans wondering if a Matt Holliday signing was imminent, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch contacted La Russa to get an explanation exceeding 140 characters.  La Russa explained to Goold:

"We're getting ready to move.  I know they’ve been talking a lot with Matt. I know we have a really smart Plan B…(It) could be on Plan A, or it could be our Plan B. The point is, we're not going to get stuck."

La Russa told Goold he was not referring specifically to Holliday with his "Soon the Cards will be smart too" tweet.  However, Goold did learn from one source that there could be a Holliday resolution this week.  Goold speculated that of the various packages offered to the slugger, six or seven years with a guarantee over $100MM might do the trick.  Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports suggested on Wednesday that Holliday aims to top the $18MM average annual salary he passed up from the Rockies in '08.  It will be interesting to see how high the Cardinals are willing to go given the lack of a clear second suitor for Holliday.


Rosenthal On Holliday, Sheets, Valverde

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new column up in which he predicts destinations for ten of the top remaining free agents.  A few worth noting:

  • Rosenthal guesses the Cardinals will sign Matt Holliday for around seven years and $120MM.
  • Rosenthal likes the Marlins for Aroldis Chapman.
  • He sees the Cubs nabbing Ben Sheets, a possibility I hadn't really considered.  It's unclear how much money the Cubs have left and how much Sheets will require.
  • Rosenthal expects the Tigers to sign one of the available DH types (Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Delgado are out there).
  • Rosenthal's choice for Jose Valverde, the Tigers, makes more sense than my earlier A's prediction.  Rosenthal admits that the Tigers surrendering their #19 pick would be "a significant obstacle," but one person I talked to noted that it might not be since the Tigers traditionally go over slot and could therefore get a big talent later in the draft.

Odds & Ends: Rincon, Calero, Rangers, Encarnacion

Here are some links to kick off the weekend…

  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post provides the details on Juan Rincon's contract with the Rockies. He'll earn $800K plus incentives in the big leagues, or $20K per month in the minors.
  • Satchel Price at Beyond The Box Score wonders why we haven't heard more about Kiko Calero this offseason. The Cubs and Giants were interested in the righthander at various times this offseason.
  • Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reiterates what we heard yesterday: the Rangers are seeking a veteran catcher. He mentions that they've shown interest in both Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro.
  • Edwin Encarnacion suffered burns to his face in a fireworks accident according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas. He will not require surgery, and will be ready to go in Spring Training.
  • Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports lists ten players we should keep an on eye to see how their market develops during the remainder of the offseason. His list is led by Matt Holliday and Aroldis Chapman.
  • MLB.com's Matthew Leach notes that if the Cardinals felt they weren't in a good position to re-sign Holliday, they would have moved on to other targets by now. 
  • Dick Kaegel of MLB.com says that "it would take a calamitous showing" for Royals' manager Trey Hillman to lose his job this season given his relationship with GM Dayton Moore.
  • Steve Slowinski at DRaysBay goes back in time to evaluate the Danys Baez and Lance Carter for Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany trade.


Olney On Gonzalez, Holliday, Dodgers

ESPN.com's Buster Olney offers some storylines to look for in 2010 and turns up some rumors along the way. Here they are:

  • The Padres will, "in all likelihood," gauge the market for Adrian Gonzalez this summer and deal him before the July 31st trade deadline. The Mets, Mariners and Red Sox could all bid for the slugger, but the list of suitors could change drastically by mid-summer.
  • One GM expects the Mariners to consider offers for Felix Hernandez if they don't lock him up long-term. "They may seriously have to think about trading him," the GM said. Locking Felix up won't be cheap, either. As Olney notes, Hernandez could command C.C. Sabathia-type money ($161MM) if he were a free agent. Luckily for Mariners fans, Felix won't hit the open market until after the 2011 season at the earliest.
  • Olney says the Orioles offered Matt Holliday $70MM or so at one point before moving on. Here's a look at some other offers Holliday has received.
  • Executives tell Olney that the Dodgers' quiet offseason is giving other teams confidence and emboldening them to make more moves. 

Matt Holliday Rumors: Thursday

12:57pm: Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Scott Boras might consider one or two-year offers for Holliday. However, there are nine-figure offers out there, so, as Miklasz says, a short-term deal seems "highly unlikely." Miklasz hears that Boras won't go for a five-year offer from the Cardinals. The agent seems to be going for a seven or eight-year deal, but the Cards remain confident in their chances of bringing Holliday back.

8:17am: Yesterday we heard that the Cardinals were "working toward an agreement" with Matt Holliday. Talks are picking up and the Cards' offer is apparently considerable. Jon Heyman and Buster Olney suggested that the Cards have offered $100MM or more, Tracy Ringolsby heard that the Cards offered $140MM and Derrick Goold said the sides have even discussed an eight-year deal.

One team that won't be interested at that level: the Orioles. Team president Andy MacPhail told Jeff Zrebiec that there is no validity to Ringolsby's report of a $130MM offer.

Today, John Tomase of the Boston Herald reports that Holliday and agent Scott Boras asked for a deal worth $170MM when the Red Sox offered $85MM back in early December. That's Mark Teixeira territory, so the Red Sox moved on.

Matt Holliday Rumors: Wednesday

10:42pm: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Holliday and the Cardinals are "working toward an agreement" that is "gaining momentum."  Due to this progress, a deal is possible next week.  Goold says multiple contract structures have been discussed – five guaranteed years with a higher salary, and even an "eight-year framework."

7:21pm: Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that Holliday didn't accept a contract offer of at least six years and "presumably" worth more than $100MM offered by St. Louis "in the past couple weeks."  Heyman also tweeted that Holliday "is still talking to multiple teams." 

3:20pm: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Cardinals' offer to Holliday "is believed to be over $100MM" (guaranteed, he tells me).  Additionally, Ringolsby replied to my email and clarified that he's been told the Cards' eight-year, $140MM offer is guaranteed both in years and dollars.

1:55pm: Talking to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, MacPhail moved quickly to shoot down Ringolsby's report of the Orioles making an eight-year, $130MM offer for Holliday.

1:01pm: Tracy Ringolsby's FOX Sports column today contains information on Matt Holliday's current contract demands as well as a couple of offers that have been made.

Ringolsby says Holliday wants to top the $18MM average salary of a four-year, $72MM deal the Rockies once offered.  But if you look at our post from Monday, you'll see that the Rockies' reported offers are all over the map.

Ringolsby says the Cardinals "made a proposal that could reach $140 million over eight years."  This fits with Joe Strauss' mid-December article for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that said the Cardinals offered "around $15 million-$16 million a season for up to eight years."  In both cases the vague wording makes me wonder whether the offer was eight years guaranteed, or just five years plus options as some have suggested.  I have an email out to Ringolsby for clarification.

Ringolsby adds that the Orioles made an eight-year, $130MM offer to Holliday.  What's more, he says Andy MacPhail "did discuss the possibility of arranging a meeting between himself, Orioles owner Peter Angelos and Holliday in Austin, Texas, where Holliday is living in the offseason."  If true, the Orioles could be more serious about Holliday than previously thought.


Odds & Ends: Mariners, Gomes, Holliday, Bay

Links for Wednesday…


Olney On Adrian, Pineiro, Holliday, Orioles

The latest from Buster Olney's ESPN blog

  • Despite preliminary talks, Olney finds a Padres extension for Adrian Gonzalez to be "very, very unlikely."
  • The Dodgers "are in the chase" for free agent starter Joel Pineiro, with the Angels and Mets other suitors.  The Dodgers were first linked to Pineiro by MLB.com's Ken Gurnick on December 8th.  With a chunk of the Juan Pierre savings already spent on Jamey Carroll, Pineiro seems out of their price range.
  • Olney guesses that Matt Holliday will ultimately sign for five years and $82.5-85MM, with options and/or incentives that could "dress it up as a deal that could be worth over $100MM."
  • The Orioles continue to hunt for a pitcher and corner infielder.  I should note that they were initially linked to Pineiro, but maybe the $9MM committed to Kevin Millwood takes them out of the mix.  An Erik Bedard reunion could be a possibility.

Odds & Ends: Bay, Guardado, Yankees, Marlins

Let's round up some lingering Tuesday links….


Matt Holliday Rumors: Tuesday

8:18pm: In a follow-up story on ESPN.com, Olney reports that the Cardinals are increasingly optimistic that they will be able to sign Holliday.

6:01pm: After the Mets reached an agreement with Jason Bay earlier today, Matt Holliday stands as the only elite hitter remaining on the free agent market. ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweets that agent Scott Boras has been doubling back to teams to discuss Holliday, and that his asking price in at least one conversation was $18MM per year.

The Mets' agreement with Bay removes them from the list of possible Holliday suitors, and we've already heard today that neither the Giants or the Yankees are in on the outfielder. Looking around the majors, there are very few teams that have a left field opening and could afford to take on the 29-year-old at anything close to $18MM.

Like Bay with the Mets, it seems that the Cardinals represent the most logical and realistic fit for Holliday. Boras will continue to attempt to get the best possible deal for his client, but at this point it's hard to imagine which club could get involved and outbid the Cards.