Thoughts on Matt Holliday, Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols and early spring training arrivals

Derrick Goold put up a nice article today “Holliday talks about helping to re-sign Pujols”.  I’m not sure what that does as far as putting the Cardinals into more of a corner to get the deal done or not.  As you all know by now, I think giving Albert Pujols a 10 year, $300 million contract would be bad business.  I could live with something around $200 over 6 or 7 years, but that would be the max.  As I’ve said many times, I don’t think the Cardinals sign Pujols in any way at all, but we’ll all know soon enough.  As far as Holliday offering to defer money (which is Jim Edmonds like), it makes me like him more.

Here’s Holliday’s comments from the article:

“I would be willing if they came to me and said, ‘Hey this is what it’s going to take to get Albert done. Would you do it again or would you do more?’” Holliday said on the show. “Scott wouldn’t like me to say that. But if that’s what it took, I would be willing to do that.”

Scott is his agent Scott Boras.

Boras wouldn’t like it for a lot of reasons.  He’s hoping Pujols gets as much money and as many years as possible so he can go to the table with his players in the future and try things like linking Rick Ankiel to Babe Ruth.  He’ll find a way in the future to get $400 million for a player like Bryce Harper.  So yeah, Boras, like every other agent and the players union, wants Pujols to get as much as possible.  I don’t see a salary cap coming in the near future, and young players similar to Pujols like Miguel Cabrera and his agents from SFX will use the Pujols contract as a starting point.  By the way, Miguel Cabrera’s top 7 batters through the age of 27 on his baseball-reference.com site are Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., Hal Trosky, Mickey Mantle and Pujols.  Cabrera will be a free agent at 32, and if he keeps up his current pace, I imagine the starting price for his services at that point will easily be at $300 million.

On to Adam Wainwright.  Wainwright was recently ranked 8th on the MLB Network’s top 10 starting pitchers right now.  I think the order was out of whack, but you have to love the way he approaches the subject.  I think the more Wainwright talks, the more he becomes my favorite current Cardinal.  I enjoyed the piece the other day from Derrick Goold on Wainwright in which he has given up his wife’s sweet tea, along with some of his favorite foods.

Wainwright comments from the other day:

“If there’s a way to get better, I’m going to do it, even if that’s what it means,” Wainwright said after his first bullpen session at the club’s spring training complex. “When you talk about the top couple starters in the game, I’m still not in the conversation. Every pitcher going into spring training is trying to be the best pitcher in the league. Or he should be. That’s mind-set. If you’re in the conversation as the top two or three starters in Major League Baseball, then you’re doing your thing. But I’ve yet to get there in most people’s minds.

“You think” Philadelphia’s “Roy Halladay. You think” Seattle’s “Felix Hernandez,” Wainwright continued. “I want to be one of those guys.”

Adam, you already are one of those guys in my opinion.  As long as the partial tear in your elbow doesn’t get any worse, you’ll have your hardware soon. 

Kyle Lohse showed up to camp today sporting a new tattoo.  You have to love the attitude of Lohse as well:

This winter Lohse said that he’s “not getting paid to be a No. 5 (starter). Everybody in baseball knows that. I’m paid to give them seven or eight innings and a chance to win. Just because of what’s happened the last two years, I don’t lower my own expectations.”

Lohse was a recent UCB roundtable question.  I’m curious to see what the rare surgery that Lohse had performed last year does to him.  Dave Duncan is a strong believer in Lohse, as he boasted about his mental toughness on the Bernie Miklasz radio show a couple of months ago.  I don’t think Dunc would do that if he didn’t think Lohse couldn’t perform back to his 2008 level and early 2009 starts, before the injury bug bit him.  I believe in Duncan, so I believe in Lohse.  I think an ERA around 3.80-4.20 and a WHIP around 1.30 to 1.35 is doable.  If he pitches like that from the 5th spot he should rack up 13-15 wins.

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