Jason Bay and Matt Holliday: What are They Worth?

Bill MckillopCorrespondent INovember 18, 2009

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11:  Jason Bay #44 of the Boston Red Sox catches a Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fly ball in the third inning of Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston,  Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Matt Holliday formerly of the St. Louis Cardinals and Jason Bay formerly of the Boston Red Sox are the prize hitters in the 2009 – 2010 free agent market. They are both looking for someone to “show them the money,” to steal a line from Jerry Maguire.  Holliday, according to his agent, is looking for Mark Teixeira money in the range of $22.5 million per year, and Bay is rumored to be looking for about $20 million a year (good luck to both camps on getting that kind of money).

What are these players worth in today’s market?

These players are only worth what someone is willing to pay and there are very few teams who can hand out $20 million contracts. Obviously the Yankees have the revenue streams to sign who they feel can get them over the top, but I don’t see the Yanks going after these players either. With 2009 MLB attendance down about 7 percent from the previous year, there seems to be less dollars available this year for the top players. Teams seem a little more concerned about controlling expenses and that includes payroll. Below are some of the larger contracts and the stats of the player before the deal was signed. (The Batting Average is the players career batting average as of the end of 2009)   



The Yankees overpaid Mark Teixeira based on numbers alone but they are one of the few teams who can afford to and it does not impact their major league depth. The Soriano, Lee, Cabrera, and Beltran contracts have not excatly helped drive the team they signed with to October glory. The best player on the list, Albert Pujols, was signed early and at a face of the franchise discount. Can Bay or Holliday anchor a lineup or did they benefit by the players around them? If you have to pay $20 million plus for Bay or Holliday would it not be wiser to trade for another big bat?

I look for Bay to sign somewhere for about the 15 million dollars the Red Sox’s are allegedly offering him. Last I heard it was 4 years $60 million and I think that maybe the best deal he is going to get if he wants play in October. Maybe the Mets or Giants will overpay for Bay.

I see Holliday signing for somewhere around $17 million per season and he should stay as Albert’s protection. I don’t see the Yankees jumping in to drive the price up this year but the Mets could make him an offer if they don’t get Bay.

What would you pay either Holliday or Bay if you were the GM of your favorite team? And what team do you see them playing for next year and why?



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