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The Cardinals are being held hostage by Matt Holliday and Scott Boras

Dec 9, 2009, 8:00 AM EDT

With Houston apparently giving Miguel Tejada the kiss off yesterday, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Tony La Russa may be interested in bringing him in.  It’s more of a “personal interest” on La Russa’s part, Strauss says, but that he has been discussed by others in the Cardinals organization.

But as Strauss’ piece makes clear, that — and just about everything else the Cardinals do — is being held hostage by the Matt Holliday situation.  You sign him, you let Mark DeRosa dangle, and you pick up Tejada (or someone like him) to play third.  Also if you sign him, you look to cheaper options to fill out that fifth starter’s slot.  If you don’t, you go harder for DeRosa for third and/or left field and your options to fill out both the lineup and the rotation expand.

La Russa was patient and measured about it all during his press availability yesterday, but it’s obvious that the Cardinals are in a holding pattern. Everything they do for the rest of the offseason is in Matt Holliday’s and Scott Boras’ hands.  But everything Scott Boras has ever done suggests that he has no interest in giving the Cardinals anything close to a sense of security on the matter any time soon.  When a Scott Boras client is on the market, he is REALLY on the market, and the bidding hasn’t started yet.

St. Louis is not the sort of organization that gambles, and I can’t see them watching their plan Bs, Cs and Ds all get snapped up by other teams while waiting for Matt Holliday and Scott Boras to make up their minds.

The question, then, is how much longer before they officially cut bait?

  1. Skiddy - Dec 9, 2009 at 8:39 AM

    Too bad Boras can’t be kicked out of the game somehow. What a cushy job he has. If nobody signed his clients, then he and the union would scream collusion. This jerk off can’t lose.

  2. Joey B - Dec 9, 2009 at 8:56 AM

    They allow themselves to be held hostage. Give him your best offer, give him a drop-dead date, then move on. They need to know what the Plan B, and Plan C are going to be. If the StL number is $100M/6, or whatever, if they don’t accept, then you have to assume you won’t get him.

  3. Levi Stahl - Dec 9, 2009 at 8:58 AM

    Skiddy,
    That’s the thing, though: every year, Boras gets his guys signed. If players didn’t think they were getting value out of his services, he’d be as good as kicked out of the game.
    Boras is irritating–and as a Cardinal fan, I sure wish Holliday were someone else’s client–but he’s just doing his job, and doing it better than anybody else.

  4. Chuck - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:03 AM

    Joey B has it right. The Cardinals should force the issue and risk the consequences. They are holding themselves hostage.

  5. RobRob - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:07 AM

    The Cardinals need to learn a little bit about sunk cost. If Holliday were someone else’s free agent, they’d never go near him. But because they picked him up last summer, they’re somehow bound to signing him? Why?
    You traded for him. He played for you. You made the playoffs. None of that matters now.

  6. Shely - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:17 AM

    I don’t think you can say that they are being held hostage. Personally, I hope they don’t get him, but they already signed Penny for about 6-7 Mil. If they get Holliday, that is going to be a tough team to beat next year. I think every other team is waiting to see what he is offered by StL., to see if they want to top it. The birds should just make the offer and see if it is good enough. If they sign Matt, then Cincy will have to wait another year I think.

  7. Eric Solomon - Dec 9, 2009 at 9:51 AM

    @RobRob – very good point and nicely said.
    @JoeyB – also well said
    Craig, the level of discourse over here at CTB is way up since you came over full-time. Kudos to all!

  8. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 9, 2009 at 11:00 AM

    BEING HELD HOSTAGE, REALLY?
    CALL 911 THEY WILL SEND SWAT TEAM FOR HELP.

  9. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 9, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    SURELY SOMEONE WILL SIP THE SCOTT BORAS KOOL AID, EVENTUALLY.
    SCOTT IS BUSY WAITING FOR YANKEES CASH – MAN TO APPROVE A
    4 YEAR 60 MIL DEAL FOR JOHNNY DAMON, CASH AIN’T SIPPIN THOUGH.

  10. TigerS Boy ToY - Dec 9, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    DON’T HATE ON THE MAN, I WISH HE WOULD TALK TO MY EMPLOYER, I’M UNDER PAID, WHAT CAN U DO.

  11. Old Gator - Dec 9, 2009 at 11:13 AM

    What I’m curious about it, how come these teams don’t fall victim to the so-called “hostage syndrome” and wind up adoring Boras? True, I get the feeling that if you were a General Manager you could become fonder of a Taliban guerrilla after being held bound and gagged for a month in a dingy basement in Quetta than you could of Boras, but still…

  12. Ron - Dec 9, 2009 at 1:52 PM

    Did comeonman become a Tigers’s fan?

  13. soxx - Dec 9, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    There is only ONE way to deal with boras, Joey B hit it right on the head, make best offer, set deadline, and move on. Lets have a year when some of his people get burnt.

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