By Josh Mosley
I’ve seen things. And I knows things. And when you’ve seen things and knows things it becomes harder and harder to stand by and lets guys offs the hooks.
(New Jersey mob boss impersonation time is now over. Thanks for your indulgence.)
When St. Louis baseball fans aren’t talking about what a heaping pile of awesome Albert Pujols is, the next subject you likely want to broach is what the Cards next move should be to beef up the squad. It comes down to two names, particularly last names, that sound alike but bring different platters to the big family BBQ known as the pennant race: Halladay and Holliday. Who ya got? Well you got me telling me who’d I take. Stay tuned.
Roy Halladay, SP: Anyone else bothered by the fact that the best pitcher in baseball (you know, AMERICA’S pastime) plays in Canada? It’s just weird. But that aside, Halladay brings it. If I had to craft a pitcher out of clay, it would be this guy. He’s a throwback to when pitchers were the kind of guys that would throw nine innings and then go out and numb their arms with a couple of pitchers of beer and a barroom brawl.
In 2009, this is all he has done:
-11-3 record (leads AL in wins)
-2.73 ERA (fourth in AL)
-113 K’s (fifth in AL)
-4 CG’s (second in AL)
-1.07 WHIP (first in AL)
And you really hate to see a guy this good wilt away in Toronto where they might not do much as long as they play in the AL East (sponsored by ESPN). It’s obvious what his worth is to the Cards: you’d have two legit No. 1 starter’s with him and his old friend Chris Carpenter. You’d be bringing him over to the NL, which is seen by some as the inferior offensive league, and the bonus of no DH.
And he’d be instantly the catalyst and potential X-factor on a team that is currently on the short list to contend for the pennant. He’d be this year’s CC Sabathia if you need comparison.
BUT, he’s a year and a half away from free agency. And he makes $14.25 million a year. So he could be just an 18 month rental that cost the team about $22 million. You got to keep in mind, and in roster, Carpenter and there’s the whole Pujols free agency sweepstakes in 2011 that could put the city of St. Louis in Detroit-like economic shambles. But is he worth it? Gun to my head, I’d say yes. Then I’d cry and squeal and tell you to please put down the gun because I have so much to live for.
Matt Holliday, LF: Before all of this Halladay hoopla, Holliday was the number one guy on the Cards wish list with a bullet. Some may take his numbers with a grain of salt since he played in Colorado. But 32 HR’s and 113 RBI’s a season since 2006 is nothing to thumb your nose at. His play has earned him the NL Silver Slugger award the last three season’s which, for you guys who score at home, means he can hit AND play defense.
If you’ve watched any Cards game over the last two months or so, you’d know that Chris Duncan is having a hard time doing either of those task. I don’t care if he’s “injured”. He’s been a sorry sack of number 2 for a while now.
Holliday’s only hit nine dingers and driven in 47 runs but you have to think his numbers jump the minute he makes the move back into the senior circuit. However, just like Halladay, he costs. $65 million over five to be exact. But he’s only 29 years old and, as I stated above, the only thing worse than Chris Duncan is an emergency root canal. And I’d still take that now over his incompetent play as of late.
The Nod: Maybe it’s because the Holliday deal would seem more likely, but I’d like the Cards to take him. Halladay is going to cost an arm, a leg and maybe the shaft and balls. Add his salary on and it’s a lot to take on. Plus the starting staff is starting to put it all together so I’ll let them play it out for now.
Holliday is a million-ish less and probably won’t require the front office to dip its toe into the precious farm system. An outfield of Ankiel, Rasmus and Holliday sounds okay to me. Someone make it happen.