The final landing spots for free-agent hitting stars
In Bay's case, in fact, he may be further away.
Meanwhile, Holliday's whole market remains fairly mysterious at this point. There is no evidence that Holliday is any closer to remaining in St. Louis than he was earlier this offseason. In fact, a lot less is known about Holliday's negotiations than Bay's talks, but while the Cardinals announced that they had officially made an offer to their free agent star on the final day of the Winter Meetings last week, there is no indication a deal with his old team is close, either.
The Red Sox haven't officially bowed out of the Bay derby, but their interest in him does not seem to be as strong as his interest in them, especially on a very long-term deal. That's too bad for Boston, because Fenway Park is probably the perfect spot for the pull-hitting power threat who cracked 36 home runs as a Red Sox last year. Mets people actually believe their main threat to land Bay may come from Seattle rather than Boston, though teams don't always know where the competition lies.
The Mets' expansive Citi Field is a tough home-run park for anyone, but Mets people believe Bay would fit there fine. However, the Mets' main interest in pursuing Bay over Holliday is because Bay carries the potential to be a quicker signing for fewer years and less total dollars than the younger and slightly more athletic Holliday, and the fact that Holliday's agent,
Bay would appear to have a good thing going in that two West Coast teams seem to be pursuing for him and not Holliday (that could be because of the asking price, or in the case of the Angels, the respective agents). But the Mariners appear more focused on pitching, and Angels manager
No Cardinals deal for Holliday is expected to come quickly, if at all. Their offer isn't known and hasn't even been reported, but the Cardinals aren't a team known for blowing away free agents with dollars (though
While Holliday thrived in his brief St. Louis experience (1.023 OPS as a Cardinal), no one will be surprised if he lands elsewhere. The early word is that he would be happy to go to New York, but if he's going to wind up with either New York team, several more twists and turns will be needed first.
Most of his market remains a mystery at this point. But nobody should be shocked if Holliday winds up taking Bay's place in Boston.
In Indianapolis Phillies GM
That is no reflection on what Lee thinks of Philly (he likes it) but more reflective that he is 1) maybe the best bargain in baseball at $9 million for 2010; 2) he's made more than $25 million in his big league career, and doesn't need to worry about "security,"; and 3) he's only a year away from free agency, which means a monster payday.
With all that in mind, Lee is expected to seek about $23 million a year, which is the annual pay of
There has been some buzz around baseball that the Phillies might consider trading Lee, possibly in a three-way deal to acquire Halladay, but while that isn't completely far-fetched, it isn't exactly likely, either. The Phillies are said by sources to be "quietly'' pursuing Halladay, and they may believe they have a slightly better chance of locking him up than Lee since Halladay is believed to prefer to train on the West Coast of Florida. Even so, there's no indication Halladay wants to take a big discount deal either, and three-way trades certainly aren't easy.
• The Mariners, who are emphasizing pitching and defense, seem to be pursuing Lackey harder than Bay. They have money to spend but are seen as unlikely to afford both players, particularly with their interest in locking up ace
• For now the Mets' sights are only on Bay and catcher
• The Yankees see
• While the Braves don't appear now to be in the market for a big-ticket corner outfielder, if they can trade
• The Braves are among teams that may consider
• The Giants like
• A report in the
• Ex-Padres GM
• After all the annual reports about how many great players would be non-tendered, there weren't any great surprises (