The details of the Holliday deal

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In the excitement of the announcement of the Matt Holliday deal, the Randy Johnson retirement announcement and what was probably one of the least inspiring BCS bowl matchups in recent years, I neglected to break down the details of the Holliday contract, but they’re as follows:

  • Holliday will receive $17 million for each season from 2010-2016;
  • If he finishes in the top-10 in MVP
    balloting in 2016, a $17 million option vests for 2017. There is a $1 million buyout if the option does not vest;
  • Calling it an “option” however, may be a misnomer. There is no club discretion here: if he finishes 10th or better in the MVP voting, he gets it. I guess it could be a player option, but those of you who think that a 37 year-old Matt Holliday will be in a position to decline a check for $17 million probably need to get some professional help;
  • He
    has full no-trade protection.

All in all, it’s a guaranteed value of $120 million,  with a potential
value of $136 million. 

Personally, I would love to hear how this negotiation went.  If, say, the Cardinals had offered him six years and $90 million, what would Holliday have done?  What other team would have come in with that money?  Did they even try? We never really know how these sorts of things go, but unless we learn that some other team was really and truly bidding on Holliday — and to date we’ve had no credible reports of a competitor for his services — I’m forced to believe that the Cardinals bid against themselves. 

No matter the case, nice deal Boras. You got your guy the contract not many people thought he’d ever get. 

Leonys Martin feared for his life from alleged human traffickers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.

Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.

Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.

Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.

Josh Hamilton leaves camp with a tweaked knee

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers poses during a spring training photo shoot on February 28, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.

As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.

You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.