For Holliday and others, free agency looks bleak

Updated: June 1, 2009, 12:10 PM ET
There is a lot at stake for Matt Holliday this season. He began the year in position to be perhaps the most coveted free agent of the winter of 2009-10. But while Holliday had a solid May, we are almost a third of the way through the season and a player who led the league in two of three Triple Crown categories in 2007 is on pace to finish the year with these numbers: 21 homers, 96 RBIs and a .782 OPS. In other words, the concerns of talent evaluators about whether Holliday could be an impact player outside of Coors Field are being cemented.

There are still four months for Holliday and others to change perceptions, but the forecast, so far, is for another rough winter for free agency. The sport continues to trend heavily in the direction of younger players; increasingly, teams are leery of investing in long-term contracts for older players.

As we sit here on the first day of June, it is probably not a stretch to predict that there will not be a contract of more than four years given out this winter, and there might be only two or three candidates for that possibility. With a strong season, Holliday might have been in position to get something in the area of six years and $100 million, but right now, he might be looking at something for three years and $30 million to $35 million.

Some other prospective free-agent players:

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