Matt Holliday has hit two home runs the last three days. So maybe he’s about to go on a tear and what follows is a gross overreaction on my part. Wouldn’t be the first time.
But the Rockies offered Holliday a four-year, $80 million contract at the conclusion of the 2008 season, and I want to say, on the record: Matt, dude, you shoulda taken the money.
Over the last three seasons Holliday averaged 32 HR, 113 RBI, a .330 batting avg., and an OBP around .400. Oh, and last year he swiped 28 bags and only got caught twice. Fangraphs says Holliday was worth $28MM in 2008, $32MM in 2007, and $16MM in 2006. As Stuart Scott might say, that’s big pimpin.
In the first month of 2009, Holliday is hitting .253 with 2 home run and no stolen bases. He’s got a putrid .303 OBP. As Ernest might say: Ewwwwwwwwww.
The other day Dan Szymborski released an updated ZIPS projection that accounts for April data. Zips estimates Holliday will finish 2009 with the following stats: 21 HR, .285 AVG, .361 OBP, 87 RBI and 12 stolen bases. Obviously, these revised projections represent a pretty serious drop from his career averages.
What’s that worth?
Hard to say, exactly. But last season Torii Hunter (21 HR, .278 AVG, .344 OBP, 78 RBI and 19 stolen bases) put together a line similar to what Holliday is projected to hit in 2009 and Fangraphs says it was worth $16MM. (It’s true Hunter and Holliday are different players, especially defensively, but Hunter’s combination of what is now below average defense at a more difficult position is actually valued similarly to Holliday’s above-average defense in left field.)
Is it likely a team is going to pay Holliday $20MM a year if he has a 2009 worth $16-$18MM? No.
Is it likely a team will give Holliday an eight-year contract when he’s already passed his peak and guys like Pat Burrell and Adam Dunn weren’t able to get more than two years this winter? No.
If Holliday thinks he’s going to get an eight-year deal in the neighborhood of $160MM…well, a word of advice: start hacking, Matt.