Regardless of If we go with the assumption that Holliday is not receiving an 8 year deal, but in fact a 6 year deal, The Cardinals are refusing to go above about the 16 million mark. With this in mind, let's not forget that Holliday is (assuming 4+WAR production) at least a 17-19 million dollar player Holliday vs. Bay Value. Furthermore, Bay's value is in the neighborhood of 10 mil. Now given these facts and the hot stove news we've heard so far we can declare 3 things.
1) The Cardinals offer (which is a steal) stands as the leading offer
2) The Mets have offered Bay but not Holliday
3) Regardless of the figures. If we sign Bay and Holliday signs for a deal worth less than 21 million annually---we have failed.
Furthermore: I think it's important to ask Mets fans what are they looking for with their new catcher. Do they want a better fielder, a better hitter?. Are they willing to sacrifice a lot in fielding for minimal gain in hitting? With these questions in mind, let's consider this:
Bengie Molina was ranked #102 of 114 active catchers in terms of fielding by Matt Klaassen (now a writer for Fangraphs. Omir Santos was ranked 21st. Now I'm sure it pains Mets fans to see catchers who can't hit (especially after years of Mike Piazza), but for minimal improvement for the bat, it's not worth the drop off in fielding.
Why? is the only question I'd ask to signing Bay or Molina.
Even if we assume Minaya's latin bias, which is pretty harsh, though tough to dispute. Why would he pay more money for a catcher when he already has a Puerto Rican catcher who is serviceable.
Let me add the sensibility into adding Ryan Garko.
Here's his career triple slash against LHP over 485 PA's : 313/392/495
Murphy's career numbers against LHP over 115 PA's: 240/289/442
But Murphy's career #'s against RHP over 592 PA's: 282/340/436
...small note though: Nick Evans career figures against LHP over 110 PA's: 320/382/490.
Overall, the idea is this. It would not be wise to spend significant money for a 1B this offseason. However, it is possible to get significantly better production out of the position---Platoon. Either Garko and Murphy or Evans and Murphy but the numbers do not lie.