Sources: Cards leaning to 5-year offer

Updated: December 15, 2009, 3:38 PM ET
By Buster Olney | ESPN The Magazine

The Cardinals continue to talk about re-signing outfielder Matt Holliday, and in their internal deliberations, the intention is to stand on a five-year offer, sources said.

It's always possible the Cardinals could alter their offer to Holliday, and add to it. But there is sentiment within the organization that St. Louis isn't competing with a lot of teams -- if any -- for Holliday's services at the level where the Cardinals are.

Holliday
Holliday

The Yankees have been named as one possible suitor, but an official with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking said there is "not a chance" the team gets involved in the bidding for a high-priced corner outfielder such as Holliday or Jason Bay this winter. "That's not happening," the official said.

Boston, one potential landing spot, dropped out of contention Monday after signing John Lackey and Mike Cameron. The Mets reportedly are moving along in their discussions with Bay. San Francisco and Anaheim, two other possibilities, have publicly downplayed or refuted interest in Holliday.

The Cardinals' intention has been to limit the amount of time their current offer is in front of agent Scott Boras. They are preparing for the possibility Holliday will sign elsewhere, and will seek alternatives.

A baseball source familiar with the negotiations told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that "nothing is imminent" between Holliday and the Cardinals. Boras and his star client "are still looking for something that they're not finding," the source said.

Boras has consistently compared Holliday's skills to those of first baseman Mark Teixeira, who signed an eight-year, $180 million contract with the New York Yankees last winter. But at the winter meetings in Indianapolis last week, Boras declined to say whether Holliday is seeking a contract similar to Teixeira's.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals are offering a deal worth about $16 million for as much as eight years.

"He's still a player we like very much and hope to retain," general manager John Mozeliak said.

Holliday, 29, is a three-time All-Star. He was also the 2007 National League MVP runner-up.

Buster Olney is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick was used in this report.

Buster Olney | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine

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