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INDIANAPOLIS – Whitey Herzog predicted Monday the St. Louis Cardinals would win the National League Central with or without free agent outfielder Matt Holliday(notes), warning his former club to be measured in its offseason signings.
In comments made after his election into the baseball Hall of Fame by the veteran's committee was announced Monday, Herzog hinted that Holliday's asking price is too rich for the Cardinals, who must also consider a huge contract extension for Pujols, eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
“They could win the division without Holliday,” Herzog said. “You can't commit suicide in baseball. Sign one contract that's bad, you're going to suffer, so you've got to be careful.”
Holliday, 29, batted .353 and drove in 55 runs in 63 games for the Cardinals, who were 39-25 after acquiring him from Oakland. He is the most coveted player on this winter's market. At least a half-dozen teams, including the Cardinals, Yankees, Mets, Giants and Red Sox, have interest in Holliday.
Boras issued the following response to Yahoo! Sports regarding Herzog's comment:
“Congratulations to Whitey on an extraordinary managerial career and his Hall of Fame selection today. It’s understandable that a man who was a GM 20 years ago when the revenues were $1 billion – over six times less than the $6.5 billion revenues of today – questions the modern-day contract structure. I don't think modern GMs, particularly [Yankees GM Brian] Cashman, with a new ring on his finger, characterize signings like Mark Teixeira(notes) – who akin to Holliday [has] achieved near MVP status (both second in the MVP voting in their career) and taken [his] team to the World Series – as 'suicide.' In addition, I’m sure if Whitey asks Pujols, [Chris] Carpenter and other Cardinal players, they would confirm the value of Holliday's division winning contribution. Again we congratulate Whitey on his admittance into the Hall of Fame.”
Teixeira, who signed a $180 million deal with the Yankees last offseason, also is a Boras client.