Just as I was writing this I paused for a moment: As the first domino falls in what should be a big offseason full of blockbuster trades, Matt Holliday was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Oakland A's.......
I felt there was more coming.
But there wasn't. At least with the Holliday side of it.
Little did I know that just a few days later Chicago's very own "Dirty-30" would take his circus act to the Big Apple.
So as I'll try to do this offseason as the resident baseball expert, I'll try to make sense of this.
First off, let's take a look at the Holliday trade. From what we know now, the A's have acquired the stud all-star to shore up one of the worst offenses you'll ever see. Take into account just how bad Nick Swisher (.219) was for the Chicago White Sox, then look at the names slightly above him in batting average. Three A's players are right there with him in the low .200's.
But what does this trade really accomplish for GM Billy Beane? Sure he's got a legit five-tool threat but this guy can't do it by himself. Who's setting the table for him? I know it's all about on-base percentage will Beane but there's no way you can run a trio of guys with averages below .240.
I have to wonder if he's going to load up on more talent but that would require cleaning out the farm system, something he doesn't usually do. The A's still have a solid pitching staff, ableit Huston Street and Greg Smith via the trades but is this team good enough to win the AL West? I think Beane has to add another piece to set the table for Holliday otherwise he'll just spin him again for more prospects at the deadline.
Looking at the Colorado Rockies side of things, it looks like a great trade for them. It's hard to say it's great in principle because the Rockies coughed up their best player and one of the top hitters in all of baseball but his value couldn't be higher because he's headed into his walk year where the mid-market team couldn't reasonable afford him.
Consider the haul Colorado pulled in. Greg Smith struggled record wise as he was well below .500 but a record is no indication of how good a pitcher is. Save for a really horrific July where he posted an 0-4 record and an ERA just over six, Smith's 4.16 ERA looks solid. Of course those numbers may climb in hitter friendly Coors Field but he should be a solid back of the rotation starter none the less.
But that's not all the Rockies pulled in. The two key cogs in this trade are outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and former closer Huston Street.
Gonzalez came over before the season as the key piece in the Danny Haren trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gonzalez is an uber-stud with the five-tool label that didn't exactly impress during his brief stint with Oakland, hitting just a shade above .250. Still, he projects to be a regular starter for Colorado almost immediately.
Lastly, we look at ex-closer Huston Street. With 18 saves and an ERA under 3.80, Street looks like a good idea from a two angles. First, let's say the Rockies try to compete in a terrible NL West. They'll likely lose free agent closer Brian Fuentes but Street fills in for cheap and allows the Rockies to collect two compensation draft picks when Fuentes leaves. If the Rockies quickly fall out of the race, they'll look to package Street again at the deadline, perhaps with third baseman Garrett Atkins to really secure a bright future with top prospects.
Look for a Swisher trade update in the next day or so...I'm still struggling to put in words what the hell happened.
- Monday, November 10, 2008
- Posted by M.J. Hartwig at 10:30 PM