Friday, July 24, 2009

Matt Holliday Revisited

Has it already been a year? I posted about the pending MLB trading deadline last season around this time in this blog's infancy and it seems that little has changed.

"The pending trading deadline and the deals that go with it seem to be the hot topic these days."

This is true. Felipe Lopez, Adam LaRoche, Julio Lugo and Chris Duncan have already been moved in recent days. The Pirates seem to be content on moving everyone with a swashbucklin' uniform in his locker. The Cardinals just completed what seemed like a glorified scouting trip wrapped in the guise of a rainout makeup game last night during a visit to mopey Washington, DC. Roy Halladay, Scott Kazmir and Adrian Gonzalez have been popular names to come up in trade topics in the past 24 hours.

"The Cardinals were among the teams thought to be interested in the services of Matt Holliday, who of course was the anchor of the Rockies terrific stretch run to the World Series last year. The guy should have been the NL MVP for 2007 and certainly would have had my vote."

Holliday is no longer an MVP caliber player after being separated from Coors Field. However, he has put up a respectable .832 OPS while adjusting to facing primarily AL pitching in AL parks. Even in the days of interleague play, adjusting to a new league for the first time is not always easy. I think Holliday is a better player than he has showed so far for Oakland, but clearly not nearly as good as he has performed in the friendly confines of Coors Field. The big story is that the Cardinals, particularly Tony LaRussa, remain interested.

"But like many small market teams are apt to do at this time of year, Holliday might get dumped off on a contender for prospects."

Holliday only has a couple of months and change left on his contract, so anyone looking to acquire him would probably have to look at the situation as a "rental". This won't dissuade people like Tony La Russa (or most managers, frankly) but it should give front office types great pause. Oakland is always up for a deal and seems to be out of contention, so I would be a little surprised to see Holliday remain in an Oakland uniform for the rest of the season even though they'd figure to get compensated in next year's draft if he left in the offseason.

"Cleveland is a mess, and so their Cy Young winner gets shipped out."

It happened to CC Sabathia last year and it could certainly happen again to Cliff Lee. Lee has been very strong of late after an inauspicious start and Cleveland is battling Kansas City for the bizarro world division title.

"Mark Teixeira, who I just assumed was named after his own franchise, became Brave Tex. What's next for him now, Red Tex? Bronx Tex? (Oh, wait, the Yankees don't do that anymore.)"

Whoops!

"I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't mention that my team has benefited greatly from these types of deals [in the past] so I suppose I can dream about Holliday patrolling left field at Busch later on this summer, as many others debate the ups and downs of mortgaging your future for a shot in the arm."

I'm not so sure that I'm dreaming anymore. I'd say it's more of an anxiety, now. The offering price seems to be top prospect Brett Wallace, who was picked in last year's draft and already has progressed to AAA with a decent chance of earning a late season callup. Is it worth it? I don't even know at this point. I don't think I will complain a lot either way. I can't fault a team in solid contention at the top of a very winnable division trying to fill a void (and it's a pretty huge void) right now in left field to Win Now. On the other hand, Wallace might not be a Major League defender, but he could be a franchise-leading bat.

***

I'll post my Allen & Ginter blaster, soon. In the mean time, I'm posting my first A&G pack of the season over at A Pack To Be Named Later. If you don't know what that is, go look it up and get lost in the awesomeness.

1 comment:

night owl said...

Sounds like Holliday-to-the-Cardinals is official now.

I don't get the A's. Why acquire a big-name guy and trade him 4 months into his time with the team?