Latest on Washburn, Halladay, Lee and others (cont.)
Cardinals want to keep Holliday long term
The Cardinals intend to try hard to extend just-acquired outfielder Matt Holliday, according to sources.
One reason they want Holliday is to protect Albert Pujols. But the unspoken reason may be that they want to impress Pujols. Their negotiations with Pujols should be a doozy, as he can be expected to request an Alex Rodriguez-type salary of close to $30 million per year.
Holliday won't cost nearly that much -- though he won't necessarily be cheap, either. He rejected a deal with Colorado that was thought to be worth $72 million over four years.
With only months to go before free agency, the conventional wisdom is that extending Holliday is a tall order, especially considering that he is represented by Scott Boras. Indeed, it does seem like a long shot. But Holliday looks so thrilled to be in St. Louis that an extension can't be ruled out.
Upon hearing of the trade, Holliday happily boarded an Amtrak train from New York to Philly so as not to miss a game. The A's are in a malaise, and Holliday didn't want to be part of it anymore. People around that team said he could not have been more thrilled to be dealt. Holliday not only was having trouble adjusting to the new pitchers in the AL, he also wasn't loving Oakland's cavernous park.
But Holliday has a lifetime 1.350 OPS in new Busch Stadium, his best mark in any park, even better than at Coors Field. It's the right field, and the right league. And being an Oklahoman, St Louis might seem close to home.
Around the majors
The Rockies are still looking for another reliever, even after acquiring Rafael Betancourt.
Mets GM Omar Minaya called the Mets "buyers" this week. But if you're a big-market team not looking at Halladay because you're "more than one player away," as one club official said, how can you consider yourself a buyer? Minaya is merely trying to spin a tale of the Mets being in the race when they aren't. No one's buying that.
A's GM Billy Beane did pretty well to get top hitting prospect Brett Wallace and two OK prospects for Holliday. Wallace will be perfect for the AL, whereas there was no spot for him in St. Louis. But Beane didn't quite recover what he originally gave up for Holliday (Huston Street, Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith). Plus, he spent $6.5 million for a half year of Holliday and sent $1.5 million to St. Louis (to cover most of Wallace's 2008 bonus or part of Holliday's salary, however you look at it).
The Angels continue to be a fabulous story, going on an eight-game winning streak without Torii Hunter or Vladimir Guerrero. "Mike Scioscia is the best manager in baseball," a competing GM said. Hard to argue.
Doesn't appear there's anything to Steve Stone's report that the Tigers are interested in Milton Bradley. Had they been, I would have suggested that they have their head examined (along with his).
Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice did a very nice job with their induction speeches. Henderson had a speech writer and worked hard on the delivery. And he delivered.
I suggested they hold a Reverse World Series on Twitter. How about the Padres and Royals, loser wins? For more random thoughts, go to my Twitter at: SI_JonHeyman.
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