Blog Entry

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Posted on: November 10, 2008 3:32 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2008 9:14 pm

The ever-unpredictable Oakland Athletics have acquired slugger Matt Holliday from Colorado, sources with knowledge of the talks have confirmed to,, pending the outfielder's passing a physical examination on Tuesday.

The Rockies will receive outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, left-handed pitcher Greg Smith and closer Huston Street in return, though they may not keep Street. One source said Monday that the Rockies are prepared to turn around and trade him -- though to which team he wasn't sure.

St. Louis, the New York Mets, Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa Bay are among the clubs in the market for a closer this winter, though the Tigers do not appear to be involved with Street.

The early strike for Holliday is a bold move for an Oakland club that finished third in the AL West last year, 24 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels.

But the Athletics are attempting to win public support for a new stadium and are telling other clubs that they intend to increase their payroll significantly for 2009 in an effort to contend. The A's opened 2008 with a payroll of about $48 million.

In Holliday, who batted .321 with a .409 on-base percentage, 25 homers and 88 RBI, the Athletics almost certainly are gaining a one-year rental player. Holliday, due $13 million in 2008, rebuffed Colorado's attempts to sign him to a long-term extension and, with Scott Boras as his agent, he is expected to test the free-agent market after the 2009 season.

That, though, fits with some of Oakland's past strategy under general manager Billy Beane, who has mostly eschewed long-term contractual commitments to players because of the A's ever-present financial constraints. He has been aggressive at times, however, in acquiring high-end talent for the short-term.

Pitcher Kevin Appier (1999), outfielder Johnny Damon (2001) and Frank Thomas (2006) all fit under this operating philosophy, but the major difference between them and Holliday is that they were not acquired when the A's were this far off of the pace in the AL West.

Of course, the Athletics figure to have an out, too: If they fall out of the race before the July 31 trade deadline next summer, they'll have a valuable trade chip that Beane can flip for prospects.

While Oakland ratchets things up, clearly, Colorado is in transition mode. Losing Holliday -- general manager Dan O'Dowd informed the slugger of the trade earlier Monday -- leaves a big hole in the middle of Clint Hurdle's lineup.

The Rockies like Gonzalez a lot, but he's a different style of player than Holliday and much younger.

"He can play center field or right field, either place," one scout said. "He's a left-handed hitting prospect, he's only 23 ... he's got a chance to be pretty good."

As for Smith, the scout said, "He actually fits better in the National League, I think. He controls the running game, he's got a good pickoff move, and the guy can hit. I think he'll end up as a No. 5 starter or as a long man in the bullpen."


Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 11:53 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

In Greg Smith, the Rockies get a lefty starting pitcher with an excellent pickoff move and nice breaking pitches who is still developing. Remember, not long ago Smith and the other key in this trade, Carlos Gonzalez, were the pieces that the A's got for Dan Haren. Smith will be a solid bottom-of-the-rotation starter and a good type of pitcher to have in a hitter-friendly park with his tendency to get ground outs.

Carlos Gonzalez has been a stud in the minor leagues waiting to bust out for years now, even though he's only 23. I think this is the key piece for the Rockies in this deal. There were other expendable players in the Oakland outfield who could have been shipped, but I think Gonzalez had to be the most alluring piece if you're the Rockies front office. He plays great defense, and when his hitting at major league speed comes around, look out NL. He could be good for a while.

Huston Street may not be done just yet, but his trade value has dropped tremendously since he won Rookie of the Year just a few years ago. The Rockies could trade him, or he could be a decent NL closer in a division with multiple pitcher-friendly parks with his hard slider.

Overall I think this works out best for the A's, who FINALLY have a solid #3 bat in their lineup, but it will be a short-lived benefit because of salary. If Colorado played their cards right, this was a great trade for them, especially if Gonzalez pans out. He has the look of a future All-Star and/or Gold Glover, IMHO.

Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 11:25 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

As a Rookies fan this one hurts a lot. Not surprising with the ownership they have in Denver. I agree with an earlier post tha Atkins is not far behind. And for the amateur who said that Holliday may be the most overrated player in the major leagues - what are you talking about? Sure he hit better at home but he still hit over .300 with a .405 OBP -- on the road.

Since: Feb 20, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 10:30 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

I don't know about that. Oakland always seems to be the place where non steroid big hitter statistics go to die. His stats if he stays .324 BA, 27 HR, 94 RBI. Good for most, not good for him.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 10:24 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Overrated? You must be a Dbacks fan. Holliday is one of the top 5 players in the game. Moron.

Since: Sep 22, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 10:07 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Greg Smith isn't a very good pitcher, he throws an 89mph fastball and walks way to many people. He'll be alright if he learns how to throw strikes. Gonzalez is really good defensively, he struggled last year, but i think he will be good soon. Huston Street also struggled last year but he has had a great career so far and is still very young.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:50 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Holiday might be the most over-rated player in the bigs today. Check out his home-away splits. He's entirely a product of Coors Field. Not much better than average on the road.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:39 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

The rumor had the Phillies looking into getting Holliday also. I also heard they are shopping Rollins around, but i think it was someone asked about him as apposed to Amaro Jr. actively trying to trade him. I hope the Phils go after a top SP like C.C., or Sheets(but i doubt it), or someone like that. But i'd be extremely happy with resigning Pat "the Bat" Burrell and getting an A.J. Burnett , or another guy who could end up with number 1 type SP stuff, but is a 2-3 SP in a rotation. Moyer is gone, or won't get 16 wins again, and Myers started looking good, but is a roller coaster as a SP nowadays. Hamels is the best lefty in the league, but the champs need another number 1 or highly talented number 2 with potential. I just hope Burrell stays but he is gonna get a boat load of cash from an AL team to DH, but the Phils have a great prospect in the minors for OF. What other free agent SP's are out there. The Phils have a great 1-2 punch in the 8-9 ninth with Madson and Lidge. Ma i remember Madson when he came up. he just needed to know his role and he excelled. His change-up is so nasty. WOW

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:31 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

He will be traded.  The A's were not going to contend year anyway.

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:26 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday, for now...

I doubt he will be with the A's very long.  $13mm is too much money for a 1 year rental.  Billy will trade him for more prospects to fill holes.  The A's are still a few years away from contending.  The stadium is stuck in red tape hell and is 3-4 years away minimum.  Holiday will be traded,  it doesn't make sense otherwise.

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 9:25 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

navy, i wrote that post (and the one about selig investigating) as a JOKE (although i honestly believe the selig one is plausible) not a typical "drunk, classless philly fan" and take pride in that...god knows ive had to deal with them (including the assclown sitting across the bar from me during the first part of Game 5 who kept screaming "BUUUUNNNTTT!!!!  F*******CKING BUNT THE BALL!!!!!!!" at every Phillie including Ryan Howard)...and i cant stand all the idiots who jumped on the bandwagon sorry if i cranked your balls with a little joke...and stuff like that is why everyone hates New York fans...the arrogance and attitude, but you cant take any criticism...

o, and go ahead, make a joke about the Broncos, ive heard them all (ive been a fan since the mid-80's)...

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