The St. Louis Cardinals could make Matt Holliday a $100 million man. The rumor has the Cardinals signing Matt Holliday for around $17 or $18 million per season to push him over the $100 million mark. How far past the $100 million would depend on how many seasons the contract is signed for, but either way it would make this the richest contract of the 2009 MLB offseason. At the beginning of the offseason, Holliday turned down a huge contract from the Boston Red Sox for $82.5 million over five seasons, and appears to have made the right decision if he is looking to get the most money as a free agent this year.
Let’s just assume for a minute that the St. Louis Cardinals signed Matt Holliday to a six-year contract at $18 million per season. That would put him at a total salary of $108 million over the lifetime of that contract. In essence, he would also be signing for the same number of years (6) that he has played (6) in a bold move by the Cardinals to lock up their outfielder for years to come. Is a right-handed corner outfielder with some power worth paying $18 million per season? Well Albert Pujols made $14.4 million in 2009, and he is a far, far better player than Holliday, so what happens when he sees this contract and it’s time for him to re-sign? Some would argue he is twice as good, so will the Cardinals pay like he is?
In the 2009 regular season, Matt Holliday finished with a .313 batting average, 24 home runs, and 109 RBI. He also posted 14 steals and 72 walks, as well as a .394 on base percentage. Let’s be clear here, these are pretty good statistics, and worthy of a starting place in just about any line-up around the Major Leagues. Holliday is also a career .328 hitter, who has hit an average of 25 home runs to go along with about 98 RBI per season. Not bad in all, but it has to be weighed that he played his first five seasons in the friendly confines of Colorado. How much did it help him? Well only time is going to tell about that, but he has surpassed 100 strike outs each of the past four seasons he has been a full time player.
Last season in the Major Leagues, there were only 12 people that made $18 million of more for the season. Alex Rodriguez of course leads the way, followed not-so-closely by Manny Ramirez, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Carlos Beltran. There isn’t anyone out there that would argue that these are the five best players in baseball, and most lists might only have A-Rod on them, with some lists having none of these players. Is Matt Holliday as good as most of the highest paid players in baseball? The answer to that question is yes, but it is also clear that some of the highest paid players in baseball simply weren’t worth it.
In 2009 the following players made $15 million or more: Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt, Derek Lowe, Todd Helton, Magglio Ordonez, and Vladimir Guerrero. Anyone want to argue that they earned their contracts too? St. Louis is in a tough position where they may have over-bid, but they probably aren’t going to get a full return on their investment.
2009’s Highest Paid Players
Matt Holliday Player Profile
Matt Holliday Contract Rumors