|From Halladay to Holliday|
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on July 08, 2009
Yesterday, we discussed a potential trade for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay. Let's switch to Athletics outfielder Matt Holliday, who was acquired last offseason.
John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle writes the Athletics are looking to move Halladay.
It wouldn't be surprising if they unloaded players from their big-league roster, including Matt Holliday, before the July 31 deadline, but their only move so far this month was to add a player: Scott Hairston.
After three straight All-Star appearances in the National League, Holliday was left off this year's American League roster. One game past the halfway point of the season, he's hitting .275 with eight homers and 43 RBIs.
His average and homers are way down from his final three years with the Rockies, but his RBI count (one game past the season's midway point) is about half of last year's total (88), which was dramatically lower than his 2007 output (137).
"I think he's going to have a great second half," manager Bob Geren said, "and when it's all said and done, he's going to have a great season."
General manager Billy Beane's plan was a good one in theory. He acquired a player for less than he was actually worth in Holliday because the Rockies needed to deal him. Beane then, theoretically, could spin Holliday for a quality package of prospects at the trading deadline or receive compensation picks when Holliday left as a free agent.
A funny thing happened along the way: Holliday went out and performed badly in the first half of the season. That's put a serious crimp in Beane's plans.
Some teams were reluctant to spend much to acquire Holliday because of his not-so-great home/road splits while with the Rockies. He was a Coors Field product, so the thinking went.
Now that he's moved away from Coors Field, Holliday definitely isn't hitting like the young superstar he seemed to be while with the Rockies. A good season this year would've likely made him the premier talent available this offseason, but that honor likely falls to outfielder Jason Bay now.
So why would teams be willing to part with a package as large as the one Beane sent to Colorado? That package, let me remind you, was closer Huston Street, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Greg Smith. None are stunning pieces, but the package is more than what Beane will likely get.
So, should Beane hold onto Holliday for the remainder of the season? Maybe not. Holliday, if he hits decently enough for the remainder of the season, will likely be a Type A free agent, which could give the Athletics a pick in the second half of the first round.
That's if the Athletics decide to give Holliday arbitration. With his season sputtering (at least relatively speaking for someone with his history), he could just accept the Athletics' offer and the Athletics would be stuck paying $15 or more million in 2010, even though they have routinely maintained a small payroll. It goes without saying that that scenario would not be an ideal one for the Athletics.
This is definitely a complicated situation for Beane and the Athletics. Holliday hurt both himself and the Athletics (in more ways than one) with his slow start to the season.