I and others suspected that the Cardinals were bidding against themselves in the Matt Holliday negotiations. Ken Rosenthal suggested yesterday that they had some help via some Boras bluffing:
Would Scott Boras have pulled an Adrian Beltre with Matt
taking a one-year deal in search of a better free-agent
The Cardinals believed the answer was yes, and their fear of
Holliday prompted them to award him a seven-year contract,
to a source with knowledge of the club’s thinking.
Rosenthal says that the fear was that the Yankees or someone would give Holliday $20 million or something on a one year deal. He quotes an anonymous baseball executive who is really dubious that Holliday would take such a deal, however, as he is on the record saying that he wants to put down roots for his family.
I think the bluff is doubly silly. Sure, Holliday may not have taken such a deal, but what makes the Cardinals think that such a deal would even develop? The Yankees may or may not be satisfied with Brett Gardner in left, but even if they go in a different direction, is it really plausible to think that they’d make a one-and-done knock-your-socks-off offer to Holliday? And who else could make such an offer?
Yes, I suppose anything is possible, and yes, it’s way easier to throw barbs from the sidelines than it is to actually sit across the table from Boras, but as far as bluffs go, Matt Holliday taking a one year deal to make his market at age 30 seems like one that’s worth calling.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.