Friday, July 24, 2009

Breaking Down the Cards' Trade for Holliday

The St. Louis Cardinals officially announced that they are "going for it" this season by acquiring Athletics left fielder Matt Holliday.

In return for Holliday, the Athletics scored some of the Cardinals top prospects. Holliday is essentially a rent-a-player and will most likely not be a Cardinal next season. In the trade, the Cardinals sent their second best prospect (according to Baseball America, Brett Wallace, along with two other solid minor leaguers in Shane Petersen and Clayton Mortensen. Wallace, 22, ranks 21st on Baseball America's list of top prospects.

Coming to the Cardinals, Holliday brings a solid bat out of left fielder. He will most likely hit behind Albert Pujols, and cleanup in the Cardinals lineup.

Holliday has always been an interesting player in his career. While playing for Colorado, his numbers were always off the charts. However, he was always highly criticized for his mediocre numbers away from hitter friendly Coors field. Holliday posted just an .801 OPS away from Coors.

In his lone half season as an Athletic, Holliday posted a .286/.378/.454 with 11 home runs in 346 at bats. He is a patient hitter that will always post high walk totals. He is a strong defender with an accurate arm. He has some speed which he showed off in Oakland, stealing 12 bases in 15 attempts.

This trade clearly makes the Cardinals a better club for the remainder of the 2009 season, but it badly hurts the chances of future Cardinal teams. It seems like the Cardinals gave up too much for a two month rental player who never proved himself outside of Coors Field.

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