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: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 8:01 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Dammit!  This is terrible for the Rox.  I realize they would have lost Holliday at the end of the season, but c'mon, for these guys!  And then turning Street around and shipping him out???  Terribly typical of the Rockies front office. 
Here this management...."just cause you won the NL in 07, doesnt mean you can just throw away a STUD for nothing in return"! 
So I guess our team is back to "rebuilding"???  Seriously?!?!  I guess it never ends...

Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:55 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Definitely didn't see that one coming!  The A's have about no shot at resigning Matt Holliday.  With moneybags Scott Boras as the agent probably only the big market teams have a chance at Holliday. 

Since: Oct 10, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

As long as Holliday doesn't get hurt this is a win win for Oakland.  I know making a deal for a player like this doesnt seem like it fits into Oakland's usual strategy but come next fall it will.  Two scenerios will be in the A's lap next summer, Holliday will be a solid contributer in their lineup and they will be contending in the AL West or they could be 15 games behind the Angels again.  If the latter occurs they have a huge chip to deal right before the trading deadline when Holliday's value will be super high.  The major league talent they could get back for a OF of his caliber at the trading deadline would more then triple the value of the few guys they gave up to get him now. 
In my opinion Oakland will keep the AL West race close but still end up dealing Holliday at the deadline for 3 top prospects.  The quality prospects they get back will be a coreto build on for the upcoming years. 

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:45 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Wow, what a move for the A's if this works. Keep Holliday for a year or two, and trade him to a desperate team willing to give the farm for him. BRILLIANT MOVE!

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:38 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Glad that your optimistic, but there are two ways to look at this. One, the A's got a great player for one year for relatively little. Two, the A's lost their division by 24 1/2 games. Do you really think spending this money, lossing three players decent and gaining one great one is going to put them ahead of the Angels?

While I'm glad that A's fans are excited and this will put some fans in the seats, I don't see this doing much to improve the playoff chances of the A's, just like I didn't see it helping the chances of the Cardinals. Plus, what do you do after next year? Can the A's afford this guy? Probably not. At least it will be a fun season to watch.

Good luck next year.

Since: Oct 22, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:31 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Yep, great comment, I couldn't agree more. I couldn't believe that the Cards were even considering getting Holiday, but when I saw who the Rockies got I thought "Now that could be worth trading for". Good stuff CF2006. Keep up the posting.

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:14 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

if bud selig was to get involved, this is how it would shake out:  he'd dick around for 6 weeks and not say anything, then make some comment about an investigation, not do anything for another 2 months and then say there's nothing that MLB can do because it's spring training and something would've had to be done when the trade first happened...

Since: Nov 13, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 7:08 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Wow. Wish i was a Rockies fan. Hope the commish will put his foot in this trade!

Since: Jan 10, 2007
Posted on: November 10, 2008 6:57 pm

Oakland acquires Holliday from Colorado

Good thing I bought A Tulowitski jersey. Hunh.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 10, 2008 6:55 pm

Who bats behind him?

How good will Matt Holliday be out of Colorado? And who bats behind him? Jack Cust and Eric Chavez won't work.

Jason Giambi?
Frank Thomas?
Mark McGwire (rumored, ha)
Barry Bonds

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