To that end, Minaya said earlier in the week that the Mets will be very aggressive in the free-agent market this winter with the top priorities being a slugger for the middle of the lineup and more starting pitching.

Boras once again is in the middle of the fray with one of baseball’s “franchise players … and they are hard to come by,” he said. Last year, he represented Mark Teixeira, who left the Angels to ultimately sign the most lucrative contract of that offseason — eight years at $180 million — with the Yankees.

It worked out well for both parties, with Teixeira playing first base on a Yankees club that defeated the Phillies to win its 27th World Series. He tied for the American League lead with 39 homers and led the Junior Circuit with 122 RBIs.

Boras said he expected the same type of interest in Holliday.

“In free agency, if you have five teams [seriously interested], that’s a big number,” Boras said. “These types of players, always 10 or 15 teams come to you and they kick the tires, and in the end, they are going to make decisions for the optimum situation or the general manager will find out the owner is really not going to go to that level in the market place.

“A Matt Holliday is another player like that in this market place. You have a franchise player at a young age and you have a chance to really differentiate yourself as a franchise from all others, and we’ll see how many teams are really going to be involved.”

Holliday, 29, comes off a 2009 campaign in which he launched 24 home runs and drove in 109 runs for Oakland and St. Louis. He played a significant role in the Cardinals capturing the National League Central title with his .353 average, 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 63 games.

Cora, 34, spent two stints on the disabled list and batted .251 in only 82 games.

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