MLB Trade Rumors has a nice summary of the state of Matt Holliday’s market. The upshot: he’s gone from an offer that would have paid him $82 million over four years from the Rockies in 2008 to a five or maybe six year deal that would pay him $80 million from the Cardinals, and maybe a five year, $85 million deal from the Red Sox, though that has been withdrawn.
Negotiation: you’re doing it wrong, Matt Holliday.
How much longer is Holliday going to hold out? Historically speaking, big free agents don’t get better offers over time. At best they stay stagnant. Remember Manny Ramirez? He got his first offer from Dodgers on November 7th last year. It was for two years and $45 million. Boras said the offer wasn’t long enough. On March 3rd he signed 2 years and $45 million. Yeah, I guess he got an opt-out provision out of it, but even then it seemed like a bit of pipe dream that he’d ever get to use it.
Maybe I’m just conservative by nature and prefer that bird in the hand to the two in the bush. But even so, it strikes me that Holliday should have taken the Rockies’ offer in 2008 and, at the very least, should have jumped at any offer of $80+ million that came along after that.
He’s lost one already from Boston. He may or may not get another one from the Mets. How much longer until St. Louis pulls its offer off the table?
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: