It has become a popular theory that the longer that Matt Holliday and Jason Bay remain on the market, the greater the chance that the Yankees (or Red Sox) will swoop in and take one of the high-priced free agents on some kind of bargain deal.
There’s nothing wrong with this logic; in a lot of ways, it makes sense. I just still don’t think it will happen.
Is Holliday a great player? Sure he is. But even if the Yankees were willing to give ANOTHER long-term, huge-money deal to a position player, I’m not convinced that Holliday is worth it. The Yankees stretched themselves last year for Teixeira, who has an OPS+ of 141 from 2004-09, and averaged 39 homers and 127 RBI per 162 games during that time.
Holliday, during the same six-year period, had an OPS+ of 137 while averaging 31 and 119 (much of it in power-friendly Coors Field). Close, to be sure, and pretty fantastic but even at a “bargain” price it’s hard to justify the Yankees taking the leap. The Cardinals have already reportedly offered Holliday a contract for approximately $16 million a year for up to eight years – an offer that didn’t apparently didn’t interest Holliday/Scott Boras.
Assuming they “settle” for something around that initial offer if the market is as depressed as some people think, you can certainly understand the Yankees still not being interested. They targeted their blockbuster deal a year ago and went the extra mile to get Teixeira (and obviously it paid off, at least so far).
Is it a lock they won’t get Holliday, too? Never say never. But even at “bargain” prices you can’t blame the Yankees for shopping elsewhere.