"Scott Boras threw out the ceremonial first pitch in free agency today, comparing Matt Holliday to Mark Teixeira in the impact the agent believes each player can have on a club.Boras's remark was met by ridicule and many, many snide comments. No one seems to think that Scott Boras can get Matt Holliday a contract similar to the one he got Mark Teixiera last offseason (in an economic crisis, nonetheless). Of course, there are a number of factors that will determine if Holliday nets roughly $110 million, or $180 million like Teixiera.
"These guys are blue-collar superstars," Boras said. "They don't hit 50 home runs, but they're complete players. They can give you something without swinging a bat."
Teixeira signed with the New York Yankees last winter, for $180 million. Boras would not say what his asking price would be for Holliday, but he made clear he considered Holliday's abilities in getting on base, hitting for power and playing superior defense similar to those of Teixeira.
"There are differences between hitters and complete players," Boras said. "Matt Holliday is a complete player.
"There is, frankly, no one like him in the market."
1. The market
Most people seem to think that the Teixiera sweepstakes was just another part of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, which in a small way it was. But we have remember that there were many other players, who added into this equation.
-There was the Angels, who longed to keep Teixeria and reportedly made an offer somewhere in the 8 year/$160 million dollar range.
-There was the Orioles, who were trying hard to sell Teixiera on the idea of playing for his hometown team. Even though the Orioles were struggling as a franchise, they too, made a decent offer to Teixiera on top of pulling at his heart strings.
-And then there was the Nationals, who were the worst team in the National League in 2008, but desperate to make a splash and catapult themselves onto the stage with the big boys. And depending on your source, the Nationals made Teixiera a huge offer, possibly the most lucrative one he had on the table.
(Note: It helps when the Yankees are involved!)
Will Scott Boras be able to drum up a market similar to that for Matt Holliday?
Outside of Teixiera, there was no other first baseman who was anywhere near his league. Sure, Adam Dunn is a great power hitter, but he did not offer the complete package that Mark Teixiera offered and could not play defense. Outside of Teixiera and Dunn, no other first baseman got more than a one year deal last offseason. For any team looking to pick up a great first baseman, the choice was obvious: Mark Teixiera.
This is the area where Boras will have a tough time because of one man: Jason Bay. Even though Holliday is a better all around player, Bay provides interested teams with a somewhat cheaper alternative to Holliday. Bay is only 31 years old and is one of the best power hitters in the American League. Because both Holliday and Bay are free agents, there is no clear cut obvious choice for teams, who want a franchise quality power hitting outfielder. In addition, it might be more difficult for Boras to get clubs into a bidding war when there are two star quality outfielders on the market, not just one.
So no, I don't think Matt Holliday's contract will come close to matching that of Mark Teixiera's. It will be interesting to watch Boras try and drum up competition and create a market for his client, who undoubtedly is looking to cash in on a monster second half with the Cardinals.
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