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MLB Trade Rumors: Matt Holliday to Sign With the Cardinals

Late post this morning as Wednesday night hoops got the best of me. Last night Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote an article titled "Cardinals, Holliday Closing In On Deal" and here is an excerpt:

The wait might have been worth it for the Cardinals, as the club and free-agent outfielder Matt Holliday are working toward an agreement that multiple sources described as gaining momentum and potentially is the largest ever offered by the franchise.

The Cardinals have had a growing sense of optimism in recent weeks that they would be able to re-sign the left fielder and former batting champion, willing to let the market move around them while they focused on Holliday. Sources with knowledge of the negotiations said progress is "strong" and a resolution could come as early as next week.

Now that the Yankees and Red Sox appear to be done spending big money this offseason, Scott Boras and Holliday had to figure that the Cardinals were the only, and probably best, destination for Holliday. St. Louis fans are known to be some of the best in all of baseball and they support the team through thick and thin.

Here is Goold on the contract details, or what he knows at this time:

The exact details of the Cardinals’ current offer are not publicly known. Sources indicated the sides have discussed several structures, including a five-year guaranteed deal and an eight-year framework.
The average annual salary would be higher in the shorter deal. The longer deal’s total worth, however, would surpass the largest contract ever finalized by the Cardinals — the $100-million extension signed by Albert Pujols in 2004.

More after the jump:

Adding Holliday to the Cardinals lineup will be a positive step and bolster the lineup after losing out on free agent Mark DeRosa who signed with the Giants a few days ago. The middle of the Cardinals order will be solid with Colby Rasmus, Holliday, Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick. Holliday will play left field and bat 5th behind Pujols.

Holliday went 24-109-14-.313-.394-.515-.909 in 2009 playing for the A's and Cardinals. Bill James projects Holliday to go 27-109-14-.316-.391-..531-.922 in 2010. I think he can be a 30-100 hitter in that lineup, and could increase his steals to approach 20.

I have Holliday in the UBA league on a long term contract that expires in 2010 after winning the FAAB bidding for him with a bid of $47. As there are plenty of power hitters available in the draft, I am leaning toward dropping Holliday and taking the $5 hit to my available salary on draft day.