This year's crop of free agents isn't the sexiest collection of names we've seen, but Matt Holliday and Jason Bay are two bonafide stars that will be available to the highest bidder. Several teams will be looking for middle-of-the-order run producers, so there will be no shortage of suitors for this pair.
Let's take a second to quickly compare the two outfielders, starting with Holliday…
- Represented by Scott Boras, but has expressed an interest in signing an extension with the Cardinals.
- Will turn 30 in January.
- Hitting .356/.407/.654 with St. Louis after .286/.378/.454 with Oakland.
- Career .318/.386/.547 hitter with double-digit steals annually, but just .289/.359/.476 outside of Coors Field.
- Has a +2.1 UZR/150 in left this year, down from +10.9 last year and +14.7 the year before.
- Making $13.5MM in 2009, plus possible bonuses. FanGraphs values his performance at $22.8M.
And now for Bay…
- Represented by Joe Urbon of CAA, who also represents Grady Sizemore, among others.
- Talks about a contract extension have been put on hold until after the season.
- Turns 31 tomorrow.
- Hitting .274/.382/.540 in his Red Sox career, right in line with his .280/.377/.522 career mark.
- Double digit steals in four of the last five years.
- Left field defense rates a -13.8 UZR/150, which is actually an improvement over last year's -18.2 mark. In 2007 it was -11.4.
- Making $7.5MM this season, but FanGraphs says he's actually been worth $12MM overall.
Earlier this week SI.com's Jon Heyman spoke to an agent who thought that Holliday and Bay could pull down identical seven-year, $147MM contracts this offseason, although an unnamed GM guessed that Bay would get $15MM per season. A $147MM contract would be the 8th most lucrative deal in baseball history, and frankly it seems pretty astronomical for either player.
What kind of contract do the readers of MLBTR think Holliday and Bay will walk away with? Which player would you rather have for the long term?