Matt Holliday might be a great player. But he might also be just an
“above-average” player. And when you pay someone 100 million + you
better be damn sure that he is, in fact, a great player.
And apparently that is what the Cardinals may have on the table.
It isn’t that I dislike Holliday, it’s just that his home/road
splits have always left me, among others, very leery of his actual
talent. And what am I supposed to do? Ignore those ridiculous splits?
And let’s be real, this isn’t the Yankees. This is a Cardinals team
that spent $88 million on talent last season. And what have we learned
from the Toronto Blue Jays? It is that middle of the road teams, in
terms of payroll, need to be much more restrained, financially, when
this sort of thing arises. More “restrained” than large market teams,
A team like the Cardinals can sign someone for about $20 or so
million dollars. But that “someone” is all but guaranteed to be their
stud first baseman, the best player in baseball, Albert Pujols. How
they could afford to be paying both in 2012, the salaries they will
demand, while insuring that the rest of the team is good enough to win, is simply beyond me.
Now maybe this is a different direction. Maybe the Cardinals are
all of a sudden willing to go north of $100 million. If that is the
case, then I would be willing to secede my current take on the whole
But I have serious doubts about the club wanting to go in that direction.
Which leads me to…Joe Mauer.
I have heard several say that it would be crazy not to lock up Joe
Mauer long term. He’s the hometown kid, best catcher in baseball, only
26, three batting titles, etc.
But crazy? You telling me that it would be CRAZY for a small market team not to invest roughly $20 million into a single player?
Because I must say that I fully disagree. Sure, they could lock him
up. But they could invest that $20 million into the draft, and in
several other free agents.
Of course, that is the way small market teams function. They don’t
function when all of their money is tied up into a player, or two.
They work well when the money is spread around to several players that
overachieve what their salaries indicate.
So back to the topic at hand. Matt Holliday for a potential $100
mill, or more? Take a pass, St. Louis. Be sure that they are great
before you pay them like they are great.