UPDATE: MLB.com is reporting that the Cardinals have offered Matt Holliday an 8-year contract for about $16 million per season.
The story also speculates that if a mystery team were to enter the Holliday mix it could be the Seattle Mariners.
ESPN’s Buster Olney is reporting that the St. Louis Cardinals are becoming increasingly optimistic that they can sign outfielder Matt Holliday. And rightly so.
After Holliday rejected early offers from both the Cardinals (reportedly five years, $80 million) and Red Sox (five year, $82.5 million), the market has dried up.
The Red Sox gave their money to John Lackey and Mike Cameron and are now flirting with Adrian Beltre. The Yankees have said they’re standing pat. Another potential big spender, the Mets, just reached a deal with Jason Bay.
Olney writes that Boras is now “doubling back to teams that had previously expressed interest in Holliday,” and that the asking price is dropping.
There had been talk earlier in the offseason that Holliday was seeking a deal in excess of $100 million over five years, but his price has been coming down markedly. The Bay signing averages $16.5 million per season, and sources say Holliday’s representatives are now asking teams for about $18 million a year.
There is no doubt Holliday is a great hitter and a solid defender (never mind his playoff gaffe). As Aaron wrote earlier, he’s a better all-around player than Bay. At the new asking price, I wonder if some new teams might jump into the mix, especially NL teams tired of being terrorized by Holliday over the last six years.
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Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.