As the days creep towards the 2009 Major League Baseball season, it seems less and less likely that our resident superstar, Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday, will be donning the purple pinstripes for Opening Day.
Normally not the type of player to air his dirty laundry out in the media, Holliday is apparently trying a new tact of expressing his true feelings, regardless of who is listening.
In a recent Denver Post article, it appears Holliday has grown increasingly frustrated with the treatment that he has received from the Rockies' front office and what he deems are low-ball contract offers drawn up by Dealin' Dan.
The latest contract offer cited in the article was a four-year, $72 million deal with a $12 million option. Holliday rejected the offer in part because he wasn't sold on the organization's commitment to winning.
"I specifically don't want to spend my career collecting paychecks and having October off. I want to be in a situation where I feel like I can make the postseason every year, not only if the perfect storm comes together," Holliday said.
To me, that quote was not only a subtle dig at the career of Rockies legend Todd Helton, but also an admission that the miracle "Rocktober" run to the 2007 World Series was a fluke and nothing more.
It shows that Holliday doesn't believe that his teammates are willing or able to bring a title to Colorado and he shudders at the thought of being an iconic talent on a perennial loser like Helton has been.
With Holliday's current contract expiring at the end of the 2009 season, he's likely to command a contract upwards of a six or seven-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 million. With the penny-pinching Monfort Brothers in charge, there is almost no chance that the Rockies will even be in the discussions with the slugger.
Of course, Holliday is represented by sports' biggest snake, Scott Boras, who is never coy about his desire to manipulate his clients into ditching any of their team-first tendencies in the effort to attain top dollar. (Just look at what he did to Manny Ramirez in Boston.) If we do indeed end up trading Holliday, we can look at the moment he came under Boras' tutelage as the beginning of the end of his tenure in the Mile High City.
Holliday has always said that he, not Boras, will have the last word on whether or not he will choose to stay with the only club he's ever known. Looking at these latest comments, however, makes me believe that Boras has had more of an influence than we would like to believe.
From the "hot stove" rumblings that have been reported thus far, it appears that Dealin' Dan is in contact with many teams and has made it perfectly clear that Holliday is available for the right price. (Or David Price, possibly?)
As Holliday becomes publicly disgruntled with the state of the franchise, O'Dowd's hand may be forced to make a deal sooner rather than later, and there is no shortage of teams on the open market who could use a career .319 hitter who has averaged 32 home runs and 113 RBI in the last three seasons.
Holliday's bags are packed and he's ready to go, but don't be shocked if he doesn't wake us up to say goodbye.
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