Late last night Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cards had offered Matt Holliday an eight year deal at $16 million a year. This afternoon ESPN’s Buster Olney is saying uh-uh, it’s only five years. Buster makes mention of Strauss’ report, but doesn’t characterize it as bogus or anything, so maybe there’s some vesting/option element to the Cards’ five year offer that could make it into an eight-year deal if everything went right.
Either way, Buster reports that Holliday is not jumping at the offer and the Cards are acting like a team that made its last offer and is ready to move on, suggesting that it’s not quite the blockbuster offer that Strauss suggested last night.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.