Holliday And Rockies Agree To 2-year, $23 Million Contract

Friday, January 18th 2008, 6:02 pm
By: News On 6

The Colorado Rockies want to lock up Stillwater-native Matt Holliday with a long-term deal.  For now, they've settled on two years.  The All-Star left fielder agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with Colorado on Friday to avoid arbitration just hours before players and teams exchanged salary figures.

"This is the first step in a process we hope will lead to a long-term relationship with him,'' said Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd.

The NL MVP runner-up Holliday hit .340 with 137 RBIs, becoming the third player since 1967 to lead a league in both categories.  He also had 36 home runs and led the NL in hits (216), total bases (386) and doubles (50) while helping the Rockies to their first pennant in their short history.

The former Tulsa Driller finished a close second to Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies in MVP balloting.

Holliday, who turned 28 on Tuesday, also earned the NL championship series MVP award after hitting .333 with two home runs and four RBIs in a four-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After making $4.4 million in 2007, Holliday gets $9.5 million for 2008 and $13.5 million in 2009.

Colorado outfielder Willy Taveras also agreed to a contract, a one-year deal worth $1,975,000. Taveras can make $150,000 in performance bonuses; $50,000 each for 500, 550 and 600 plate appearances.

The 26-year-old Taveras provided speed at the top of the lineup for the Rockies last season. He hit .320 and stole 33 bases in 97 games.

"We are excited to come to agreements with both Matt and Willy,'' said O'Dowd.

The Rockies swapped figures with three players still in arbitration: third baseman Garrett Atkins, reliever Brian Fuentes and outfielder Brad Hawpe.

Atkins asked for $4.65 million while the club offered $4,125,000; Fuentes requested $6.5 million with Colorado countering at $5.05 million; and Hawpe asked for $4.35 million while the Rockies proposed $3,575,000.