St. Louis Cardinals Sign Matt Holliday, Create World Series Expectations

Aaron HooksCorrespondent IJanuary 5, 2010

The St. Louis Cardinals and outfield free agent Matt Holliday have come to terms on a new contract making Mr. Holliday the highest paid team member for 2010.

Scott Boras, Holliday's agent, has confirmed it's a seven year, roughly 120 million dollar deal for the free agent outfielder. Holliday revealed those numbers late this afternoon on ESPN Radio. All were in agreement that the brawny baseballer wouldn’t have to “ever set foot into Aldi again.”

To which I say? Getting a cheap can of corn didn’t seem to be his specialty anyway- he was more of a banana and nuts man… Hi. Yo.

Previous addition to the Birds roster, Brad Penny and his near 10M for 2010, all but assure that with the signing of Mr. Holliday, the Cardinals are done in the free-agent shopping period for anyone making over 1M annually. Unless Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols are able to convince the front office to pursue Miguel Tejada.

And you know what?

That’s fine by me. In fact, as recently as a month ago I was abdicating we all chip in and build a death star-esque blimp to fly over his new home field and intermittently drop athletic supporters filled with amniotic fluid on his head to remind him of the mess he left behind in St. Louis.

Alas, we can all now revel in the fact that we have multiple years ahead where Dan McLaughlin can ooh and ogle Holliday’s forearm strength on FSN.

In all seriousness, though, this signing has done three things.

1) Proven once and for all that the Cardinals aren’t cheap. It’s not easy for me to admit, but it’s the truth.

Me, you, and them might not all agree on who the money they spend should be spent on, but we can’t complain that they’re not spending it. We’ve all lambasted the Cardinals ownership group the past decade for not landing some prize free-agents, but as it turns out...they would have if they’d have thought a player was worth it. They thought Matt Holliday was worth it. Pujols will be worth it next.

2) Made the Cardinals a powerhouse in the NL Central.

With a four deep rotation of potential All-Stars (or at least the ability to be All-Stars) and a 3/4/5 that features Pujols, Holliday, and Ludwick with young star Rasmus and Molina also contributing…well that’s a team I want to root for in 2010. Seems to me that this second century of going sans World Series ring for Cub fan is off to a roaring start.

3) Raised expectations really high.

There are no excuses for the Cardinals in 2010. They have a team built to win a championship this season. Anything less will have to be considered a disappointment. Obviously, as fans, setting the bar that high is ripe to disappoint. But at this point, I don’t think that you can legitimately make a case that they should do less than win it all. Because if you do, then what would you need to have that expectation?

Matt Holliday is a Cardinal. It feels good typing that sentence.


Now go win a World Series. Go!