I stole this from Jayson Stark from espn.com, but it is something I've been saying to all my Cardinal fan friends about the possibility of signing Matt Holliday. Look at the part about the payroll after paying Holliday and then Pujols a few years from now.
Much as he clearly loves St. Louis, Matt Holliday continues to give the Cardinals no indication he's amenable to signing any discounted deals to stick around beyond this year. And if the Cardinals have to pay him free-agent-market dollars to hang onto him, let's sound the alarm right here: They might be putting the franchise in economic peril.
"The worst thing they could do is re-sign him," one American League exec said. "If you start thinking about their long-term payroll, what's the biggest payroll a city like St. Louis could absorb? Let's say it's $100 million. Now you have to give Holliday $15-16 million a year. Then you have to give Albert [Pujols] $25-30 million, and probably $30 million. So now you're paying two guys $45-50 million? That's a lot of money in that market.
"In 2010, it might not matter. In 2011, it might not matter. But when you get to 2014 and you've got half your payroll wrapped up in two 34-year-old guys, that's not a good place to be. … Those are the kinds of contracts you can't get out of."
Tying up Holliday at market dollars, and then re-signing Pujols, would almost assure the Cardinals of not being able to keep Chris Carpenter and/or Adam Wainwright when their next big paydays roll around. While it seemed so logical, at the time they traded for Holliday, to forecast that they'd swoop in and sign him, it's not so logical when you start punching in all those dollar signs.