From Ken Davidoff (Newsday):
A quick recap: According to a person in the loop, Matt Holliday’s top choices in free agency are: 1) Yankees; and 2) Mets. The Oklahoma native is apparently not intimidated by New York.As of now, I’d say the Yankees don’t want to make another large purchase like that, in the wake of last winter’s shopping spree – and if they win it all, then the pressure from the yakosphere (trademark Neil Best) to get Holliday should alleviate.
Matt Holliday, like Mark Teixeira, really is a good fit for the Yankees. Whereas the Jason Bay’s offense has likely peaked this season (he’ll be 32 next season), Matt Holliday, at 29, has yet to reach that mark.
This year, his numbers in Oakland were very good (.286/.378/.454) despite a miserable April (.240/.288/.360)—he was probably getting used to AL baseball and his new team—and once he returned to the NL, where the pitching was once again familiar, his stats were off the charts. He hit .353/.419/.604 in 63 games with St. Louis. That doesn’t mean he’s just an NL player, rather, it proves what “knowing pitchers” can do for your overall numbers.
Add Holliday’s exceptional defense—he’s 7.4 runs above average, range-wise—to his offensive talent and, on the season, you have a complete player, one that’s worth 5.6 WAR. If he were on the Yankees this year, he would be the 3rd best player on the team, behind only Derek Jeter and CC Sabathia (according to WAR). Furthermore, given his mixture of speed (14 SB), power and patience, he would be an excellent number 2 hitter for the Yankees (sorry, Johnny).
If Cashman and co. intend on adding another player to man left field for them, Matt Holliday is certainly the best choice. Whether he’s the most viable option, financially, though, has yet to be seen. Scott Boras is Holliday’s agent and is always looking for a massive payday. But, the Holliday family really seems to like the idea of their son in pinstripes, so perhaps that will factor into the negotiations and allow the Yankees to reel in another prized free agent this winter.
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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