- The LoHud Yankees Blog - http://yankees.lhblogs.com -

The case against Holliday

Tweet [1]

Now that Jason Bay is off the market, Scott Boras is apparently going back to teams that have previously shown interest in Matt Holliday. St. Louis is one of those teams — the team that has seemed to be the favorite in this race — and Buster Olney writes that there is “increased optimism [2]” within the Cardinals’ camp that Holliday will return to St. Louis.

Based the conversations I heard at my parents’ house during the Christmas weekend, this news must make most of Missouri very happy.

When it comes to the Yankees, though, there is a flip side to Holliday. While he is, without question, the top free agent on the market, there is a case being made that the Yankees not only don’t need him, they shouldn’t want him. If you haven’t already seen it, check out Dave Cameron’s story over at FanGraphs [3]. He argues that there’s only so much better this Yankees team can become, and that adding Holliday doesn’t increase their playoff chances enough to justify the money. He writes that the Yankees are already capable of winning 100 games, which is plenty to make the playoffs. Why spend so much money to win more than that?

Because winning more than that means the team would be better, and being better matters a great deal in the playoffs.

Very true, and a fair point. Writing in response to the Cameron story, though, Rob Neyer adds another argument [4]against the Yankees pursuit of Holliday.

“… the only way the Yankees can fall into a habit of losing, someday, is by stockpiling too many players in their 30s with big long-term contracts,” Neyer writes. “It’s incredibly difficult to place a value on flexibility, but that value is real and important and Brian Cashman’s awareness of that value is going to keep the Yankees on top for quite some time.”