Matt Holliday Signing: Time To Get a Few Things Straight

Joel KochSenior Analyst IJanuary 6, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 08:  Matt Holliday #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals looks on during batting practice before taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Dodger Stadium on October 8, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Matt Holliday has officially signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Let me steal a line from Jack Buck here: "Pardon me while I stand and applaud."



Okay, I'm back. Despite what pessimists say, this is a great signing for the Cardinals. I'm not here, however, to talk about the contract itself. I'm going to answer some questions that, for a lack of a better word, stupid people continue to ask.

Q: With Holliday making $17 million per season now, Pujols will want to be paid more than that in his next contract.

A: This right here is just plain stupid. I'm not even sure why people say this. Pujols is being paid $16 million right now (minus deferred money). In his next contract, he will top $20 million without a doubt. If you thought he wouldn't top that unless Holliday signed, I have some oceanfront property in Phoenix I can sell you for cheap.

Pujols is without a doubt the best player in recent memory. He is going to be paid like an elite talent. With Holliday around and being paid a lot of money, Pujols may take a discount on his next deal to keep the Cardinals salary low enough to pack talent around the duo, but he is going to be paid at least $20 million a year.

Q: Holliday will be entering the downside of his career towards the middle of the deal, so this is very risky for the Cardinals.

A: Um, duh? Every signing that is more than three years is a risk to any club. Players get hurt and players will have down years. It always happens and it will always happen. Sorry, that is reality.

Pointing out the obvious on the deal that it is a risky signing is just plain stupid. Off the top of my head, I can name four players (Alex Rodriguez, Pujols, Derek Jeter, and Manny Ramirez) that have signed for five-plus years and have produced throughout the contract.

Q: Why did the Cardinals pay so much when they were clearly bidding against themselves?

A: I hate Scott Boras as much as the next guy, but the guy knows what he's doing. It wasn't his mystical magical mystery teams that drove up the price. It wasn't the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox either.

It was the fact that Holliday is a great talent and Boras had every intention to waiting until the Cardinals offered up a number he liked for a fair amount of years that would offer Holliday stability. The Cardinals did, and the deal was done.

John Mozeliak did not cave. Boras did not bully. If I had to guess, Mozeliak offered five years and $80 or so million. When Boras told him he wanted $18 million, Mozeliak and his group looked at the books and tried to come up with a salary they were comfortable with that Boras would like.

They figured out that a seven year deal would give the team stability (as Pujols will sign for anywhere from 6-10 years in his next deal) to match with Pujols, while plugging a hole long-term to give the team time to develop the "next star" that could play left field.

When they decided that seven years was best for the organization, they looked at the money and told Boras they would go to $17 million per season. The deal was done and signed.

This wasn't Boras getting the best of Mozeliak or the other way around. This was both sides sticking to their guns and finding the middle ground.

For right now, that is all I can think of. If you have anymore questions that really have no reason to be said/asked like the three above, feel free to post them here and I'll answer them.