Well according to several sources, talks between the Cardinals and Matt Scott Holliday Boras are heating up. John Mozeliak confirmed tendering an offer for Holliday to Boras before departing Indianapolis last week, but terms weren't disclosed and nothing was heard from the Boras, er, Holliday camp.
Since historically Boras seemed to like conducting his negotiations in public, this lack of news was somewhat disconcerting. The lone leak reported Mo's contract offer didn't approach the $18 million per year the Rockies offered Holliday (which he subsequently rejected).
Late last night more news broke. Seemed the Cardinals and Boras have talked since the winter meetings broke up, and the Cardinals sweetened the pot a little. Holliday's contract offer is now reported to average about $16 million per. That doesn't approach the Teixiera-level money Boras set as a benchmark for this negotiations. Perhaps there are other considerations being made. The Post-Dispatch story talked about guaranteed money, an opt-out clause, and full no-trade protection as possible contract language to make the 'lower' figure more amenable to Holliday.*
*As an aside, is there really that big a difference between $16 million and $18 million a year? Would one's quality of life suffer terribly if compensated 11% less per year than one wanted?
Complicating matters is Jason Bay. Reports on ESPN indicate Mike Cameron has signed a 2-year deal to play for Boston. Which OF spot Cameron will mann remains to be seen; he is a gold-glove center fielder, but I hardly think Boston will shift Ellsbury to left and install Cameron in center. So pencil Cameron into the LF slot. That means Bay won't be returning to Boston. As the popular choice for second-best bat on the 2009 free agent market, where he goes will limit Holliday's options if he doesn't accept St Louis' offer.
All of this is cause for one to shake his head. Matt: you could do a lot worse than play baseball for $16 million a year. If you want to play in St Louis, take the deal. Work out the specific contract language you want, but take the money. If you don't want to spend a hot summer on the shores of Big Muddy, that's fine - just say so.
All this posturing is quite silly.
A quick final word on Ben Jukich. He was taken in the 13th round by Oakland in 2006. He hasn't pitched in the major leagues yet. He's spent the better part of 3 seasons at AAA.
42 minutes ago