Holliday, Cardinals nearing a deal

According to FOXSports.com’s Jim Bowden via his Twitter page, the Cardinals and free agent outfielder Matt Holliday are closing in on a $98.5 million contract.

The Holliday may be over for most, but not St.Louis……Cards – Holliday closing in on 98.5m dollar deal

What’s interesting about the number figure Bowden references is that Holliday and agent Scott Boras were seeking over $100 million. “Settling” wouldn’t be the right term considering the free agent would still land $98.5 million, but it is interesting that with Jason Bay off the market that Boras couldn’t land Holliday a contract in excess of $100 mil.

Get the deal done already – Holliday is a perfect fit for St. Louis.

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Report: Cardinals offer Holliday $100 million

According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, the Cardinals offered free agent outfielder Matt Holliday over $100 million.

Scott Boras, the agent who represents Holliday, has been doubling back to teams that had previously touched base on the outfielder, citing a possible salary figure of $18 million. Boras is believed to have an offer in excess of $100 million from the Cardinals, and club officials with other teams sense he is shopping that offer.

Outfielder Jason Bay reached agreement on a four-year, guaranteed $66 million contract with the New York Mets, pending a physical. If Holliday were to finalize a six-year or seven-year offer for about $17 million a year with the Cardinals, he would sign for a package in the range of $102 million to $119 million, the largest contract of this offseason.

Earlier this offseason, the Red Sox offered Holliday a five-year, $82.5 million contract, but sources say Boston’s offer was rejected. The Red Sox then used that money to sign veteran right-handed starter John Lackey.

Unless the Yankees want to open up their wallets again, I doubt that Boras and Holliday will see an offer higher than the one the Cardinals offered (that is, if Olney’s report is accurate and St. Louis did offer that amount).

I wonder what Plan B is for the Cardinals if they can’t re-sign Holliday, because no matter what, they need a decent bat to protect Albert Pujols in their lineup. One would think that Holliday will sign with someone soon now that Jason Bay is off the market.

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Report: Yankees out of Holliday and Bay sweepstakes

According to a report by the New York Daily News, there is “zero” chance that the Yankees sign free agents Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.

But missing out on DeRosa does not mean the Yankees will seek an expensive option such as Matt Holliday or Jason Bay for their left-field opening, one Yankee official said before the deal was made. “No chance on Matt Holliday, no chance on Jason Bay,” the official said. “Zero. None. Underline it.”

The Yankees are thinking of much cheaper free agent options – former Blue Jay and Cub Reed Johnson, Jerry Hairston Jr. from last season’s team or other players for left field, the official said. Brett Gardner could have a chance to compete for a role there. They will also troll the trade market.

Of course, Yankee GM Brian Cashman once said that he was comfortable with Bubba Crosby being the team’s starting center fielder – mere weeks before the Yankees gave Johnny Damon $52 million over four years to play there instead. The Yankees certainly could afford to stretch their self-imposed budget for a big name, but they also believe that next year’s free agent class – hello, Carl Crawford! – is much more attractive, so they are saving cash for that.

Until Bay and Holliday are signed, don’t count the Yankees out. I don’t care what any report says: The Bombers have the money and if they want a player, they will spend in order to acquire him.

Yankees acquire Vazquez from Braves for Cabrera

The Yankees acquired starter Javier Vazquez and left-hander Boone Logan from the Braves in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera, left-hander Mike Dunn and right-hander Arodys Vizcaino.

Vazquez is coming off a solid season in Atlanta, posting a 15-10 record with a 2.87 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. In his first stint with the Yankees, he recorded a 14-10 record and a 4.91 ERA in 32 starts in 2004. He’ll join a starting rotation that already boasts CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettite.

Braves fans were probably expecting more in return for Vazquez than Carbera, but the 25-year old has plenty of promise. He hit .274 last season with 13 home runs, 28 doubles and 68 RBI in 485 at-bats. He’ll take over the starting left field position in Atlanta and might see a boost in his offensive production switching the National League.

The question now is what will the Yankees do with their outfield? They acquired Curtis Granderson to play center, but traded away Cabrera, lost Hideki Matsui to free agency and thus far, have shown little interest in bringing back Johnny Damon. If they don’t re-sign Xavier Nady, then the Bombers will be left with Granderson and Nick Swisher as regulars, but who will play left?

I’m wondering if this was a precursor to the Yankees making a strong bid for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay.

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Cardinals offer Matt Holliday a formal contract

The St. Louis Cardinals officially offered free agent outfielder Matt Holliday a contract according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The article states that St. Louis expects to hear back from Holliday within the next 48 hours and that the Cardinals might move on “the middle of next week” if the free agent doesn’t accept their offer.

While Holliday is a much-needed presence in the Cards’ lineup, it’s important for the club and GM John Mozeliak to move in another direction if the outfielder can’t make a quick decision. The financial terms of the offer haven’t been released, but chances are it’s a fair deal for market value. I doubt the Cards would waste their or Holliday’s time with a lowball offer.

If Holliday doesn’t sign, it’ll be interesting to see if the Cardinals make a run at Jason Bay, although it would be tough for St. Louis to match an offer from the Red Sox or Mariners. (There’s a rumor floating around that Bay wants to play for the M’s because Seattle is close to his home.)

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