The slim hopes that the Orioles would sign Matt Holliday went swirling down the drain when Holliday and the Cardinals agreed to a 7 year $120 million deal on Tuesday. The contract includes a full no-trade clause and will pay Holliday an average of $17 million thru his age 36 season.
As an O’s fan I’m disappointed, though not at all surprised. I never got my hopes up about Holliday. The Orioles just aren’t going to spend that kind of money on a single player. We know they have the money, but if they wouldn’t do it for Tex last offseason they weren’t doing it for Holliday. Keep in mind that Holliday is redundant for the Orioles as they already have Reimold, Scott and Pie battling for innings in LF. Yes, obviously none of them are Matt Holliday, but I think Reimold clearly has that type of potential. Unless they had a deal in place sending Reimold in a package for a starter signing Holliday would’ve made little sense for the Orioles. John Lackey is the real “One that got away”, and from all indications the Orioles never made a serious run at Lackey. If you want to be pissed off about something, be pissed off about that.
From a business perspective this is a curious, if not terrible, deal for the Cardinals. Holliday is a very good player already nearing 30 with a suspect defensive reputation. He also apparently had no other serious suitors after the Red Sox spent big on Lackey and the Mets overpaid Jason Bay. The Cardinals were essentially bidding against themselves and not only guaranteed $120 million, but also threw in a full no trade clause for good measure. Of course, it could be argued that Holliday’s $17 million salary when he’s 36 is basically a de facto no trade clause.
Signing Holliday likely enhances the Cardinals chances of resigning Albert Pujols to a long term extension. The team is certainly committed to winning and Pujols has some built in protection for the next 7 years.
All that said it’s an exciting day for Cardinals fans, a great day for Albert Pujols and time for a trip to Red Lobster for the Holliday clan.