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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Cardinals - Signed Holliday
St. Louis Cardinals - Signed OF Matt Holliday to a 7-year, $120 million contract.
A big one and a big risk. The latter isn’t because of any ability foibles but simply because the Cardinals absolutely must sign Pujols as well. Now, the team isn’t cheap, but with $40 million (at least) tied up in 2 players, the organization is going to have to start developing more players that usual in-house and even more Dave Duncan Specials, because this will make it harder to bring in Lohses and Pennies for $10 million per. On the plus side, there is at least some cost certainty in a lot of places, with Wainwright and Carpenter locked up for the next few years, but the team’s going to have to eventually choose one (I’d choose the former, given their ages and injury histories).
No doubt comparisons will be made between the Bay and Holliday signings, but honestly, I feel (and ZiPS agrees) that Holliday’s a better player. If you give Bay a break on his defensive stats because of Fenway, he’s still likely 10 runs or so below-average and if you knock off 5 of Holliday’s combined UZR/RTZ/Dial range numbers of recent years because you think they overrated Holliday, Holliday’s still 5-10 runs a year better than Bay in the field. There’s also the additional year and the fact that Holliday is a more well-rounded hitter than Bay, with less of an emphasis on old players’ skills. Bay’s certainly not slow, but he’s had quite a dropoff in singles and doubles in recent years (Fenway being an incredible doubles park has obscured the fact that Bay’s more reliant on home runs).
There’s an 8th year in this contract, but Holliday has to finish in the Top 10 in the MVP voting in 2016 for it to vest at $17 million. If he’s still good enough that he’s doing that in the 8th year, he’ll certainly be worth a 1-year, $17 million contract at the time.
More signings to come, but I need to finish Giants ZiPS first.
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