|Point/Counterpoint - Who Won the Holliday Deal|
Written by At Home Plate Staff (Contact & Archive) on November 19, 2008
No Holliday, No Problem
Many people think the Rockies may have a chance to contend in 2009 because the National League West is such a weak division. And that is true. But general manager Dan O’Dowd should not bankroll his future for a chance at the present. Holliday was leaving after the 2009 season. Why not get a few quality pieces to contend beyond next season?
Huston Street gives the Rockies a fairly good closer, which means they won’t be a hostage in the Brian Fuentes sweepstakes. Combine Street with right hander Manny Corpas and the Rockies have a fairly decent end of the bullpen. Maybe only the Dodgers can compete with them within the division in this department.
The Rockies also picked up an arm they can throw in the back of their rotation. Ideally, Greg Smith would strike out a few more hitters – and walk a few less – but he’s only 25. Going to Colorado is never a recipe for success for this type of pitcher, but he is a young arm. Small-market teams have to gamble on those types of players.
Throw in Carlos Gonzalez, who has been and still is, a highly rated prospect, and the Rockies have something to build around. Gonzalez will soon pair with fellow stud prospect Dexter Fowler to give the Rockies a quality pair in the middle of the lineup.
This deal may take a few seasons to turn out in Colorado’s favor. After all, Smith may not play well in Colorado and Gonzalez may not turn into the good-but-not-great player many expect him to be. This deal could very well backfire for O’Dowd, but it seems like a gamble he should have made.
And for the A’s acquiring him is a puzzling move unless either general manager Billy Beane thinks the 2009 A’s have a shot at contending or that he plans to flip Holliday in a trade sometime next season.
The cost wasn’t great, a good middle ranked pitcher, Greg Smith, who might be able to handle the rarified air of Colorado, a closer (and the A’s have always believed they could create closers) who will soon be arbitration eligible (and thus more expensive) in Huston Street, and a high level prospect (Carlos Gonzalez) who could turn into something but hasn’t shown it at the Major League level.