No other team, or baseball city for that matter, retains its star players better than the Cardinals, and that’s saying something when you’re without the Yankees’ deep pockets.
McGwire, Edmonds, Rolen and now Matt Holliday…all stayed when more lucrative deals were offered to sign elsewhere. And as wonderful a baseball city as Chicago is, that’s sadly never been the case on the North Side.
Re-signing Holliday is huge not just because of the money ($120 million over seven-years), but because St. Louis went 32-11 after trading for him last season.
Factor in that Pujols and Holliday combined for 60 HR and 190 RBI in addition to Chris Carpenter’s and Adam Wainwright’s combined 36 win total, and it’s clear the Cubs are looking up at its competition in the NL Central.
The division, of course, was there for the Cubs taking last season, but Holliday’s return to the Gateway City changes the landscape for 2010.
No doubt the Cubs are talented enough to compete with its biggest rival, but the Cards’ mighty foursome can’t be ignored. Unlike years past, the road to winning the NL Central now goes through St. Louis.