And Then There was 1…

This afternoon, the Met’s reached an agreement with Jason Bay, affirming what has been speculated for the past few weeks. With the larger market teams unwilling to offer Bay the 5th year and extra money he was asking for, the potential landing spots for the left fielder shrunk considerably and resulted in only one serious offer on the table. Now that Bay is taken, all the attention is on Matt Holliday.

Widely considered to be the best OF’er in the free agent pool, Matt Holliday’s asking price is somewhere in the $15-$16 million a year for 5 or 6 years range. Now that Holliday is the only top OF’er in the free agent pool, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit more urgency from St. Louis to sign him, but did Holliday leave the best offer on the table because he wanted to be patient?

According to multiple sources, prior to the Sox signing Lackey, they offered Holliday a 5 year, $83-$85 million dollar contract. That was the highest offer he has seen this off-season, but has since been rescinded following the addition of John Lackey and Mike Cameron. If Holliday and his super-agent Scott Boras were holding out for the most money this off-season, they may have waited too long and missed out on an opportunity to come to Boston.

Most likely Holliday will sign with the Cardinals within the next week or so. He likes playing in St. Louis and seems to respond well to working with new hitting coach Mark McGuire. If he isn’t playing for the Sox, it’s best he stays in the National League far, far away.