The Cardinals had to have Matt Holliday. There seems to be no doubt about that. Hitting behind Albert Pujols seemed to lift Holliday into the stratosphere as a hitter and he afforded protection to the Cardinals' and baseball's best hitter. But that protection came at a steep price. The figures being bandied around come to $120 million over seven years with an option year for the eighth.
According to PECOTA projections, Holliday will be worth around $38 million for those seven years. He isn't a very good fielder and doesn't figure to be getting much better in left field now that he's 30 years old. So the Cardinals basically paid Holliday three times what he is worth. Ouch.
Perhaps Holliday has found the sweet spot in St. Louis. Perhaps his second half there wasn't a fluke. But even if that lifts his valuation over the next seven years, he still won't come close to being worth what he is going to be paid.
So what is Pujols going to be worth for the next seven years? Again, according to PECOTA, that figure will be around $143 million. Which isn't that much more than what Holliday is making. So when Pujols' current contract is up and the Cardinals paid a $38 million player $120 million, what should Pujols ask for? The Fan's guess would be oh, around $420 million or so.