My Pitch To Jim Hendry For Matt Holliday

MLB: APR 25 Rays at Athletics
Jim Hendry should rent A's OF Matt Holliday by any means necessary.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry is due for a good move, right? Through 73 games, Hendry is 0-for-the-offseason as Milton Bradley, Aaron Miles, Kevin Gregg and Ryan Dempster have flopped or fell short of the lofty expectations that come with multi-million dollar deals or, in Gregg's case, being traded for a prospect once deemed untouchable.

And just like last season, Cubdom is up in arms over a move by one of its arch division rivals in an attempt to unseat the Cubs from their perch atop the NL Central. I've seen this movie before. And as a Cubs fan, I like where this movie ends. But for some reason, I always fall asleep whenever the part about October rolls around. Funny how that works.

Hendry can make his detractors (mainly yours truly) by making one brash move that could push this team over the top.

Trade for Matt Holliday.

I know this seems like more of a stretch than Prince Fielder's waistline, but here me out. This would be the ultimate rent-a-player scenario, which could appease Sam Zell and the fools at TribCo that are basically holding the Cubs and the Ricketts family hostage. Adding Holliday would make the Cubbie faithful forget all about Mark DeRosa playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Stick Holliday in left and move Alfonso Soriano to second. Take note that any move the Cubs make to acquire an outfielder will likely bump Soriano to second base. And I don't want to hear about how bad his defense is there, because if it's bad one place it is bad other places too. At least at second, his numbers will generally out-perform the average second sacker.

Back to Holliday, whose big bat is the boost the boys in blue need. Now, how's that for alliteration?

There are a handful of things Hendry should take into consideration when acquiring his next big bat.
  1. How he hits at Wrigley/day games.
  2. How he hits on the road against NL Central teams.
  3. Production in the second half.
  4. Playoff production.
  5. The bounty.
And how does Holliday stack up?

1. Well, the numbers at Wrigley aren't pretty where he is a a career .229 hitter with only one homer and four ribbies. However, things look a lot better when the sun is out. Holliday owns a career .319 average, .391 OBP, .531 slugging percentage and .922 OPS.

2. While Holliday has struggled against the Cubs at Wrigley, he hits pretty well against the rest of the NL Central. He's got a career .292 average against the Reds, but has an underwhelming .269 average at The Great American Ball Park. Against the Brewers, Holliday has a ridiculous .342 average and 1.082 OPS. At Miller Park, he owns a .928 OPS. At Busch Satdium II, he has hit an absurd .385 with 5 homers in 11 games against the Cardinals.

3. The most encouraging stat backing Holliday is his .314/.388/.568/.967 slash stats in 1,380 second-half plate appearances.

4. The second most encouraging stat could be his career .289 average and .919 OPS in 11 games. Holliday makes Mark DeRosa look like a bum with numbers like that.

5. It's easy to use to back my argument, but it means nothing unless there is a match between the GMs. And there is no harder GM to deal with than Billy Beane, and if you've read Moneyball (or its bad-ass movie script) then you know what's up. Luckily for the Cubs, Hendry and Beane have worked together before, as recently as the deal that brought in Rich Harden.

When it comes to Beane, all trade talks begin with starting pitcher. Which means all trade talks must start with left-handed starter Sean Marshall and right-handed hurler Jeff Samardzijia. Maybe one of the pitchers the Cubs got from the Indians would intrigue Beane. I'm sure if Phil Rogers read this blog, he would have a suggestion of his own. As for hitters, Josh Vitters is as close as to untouchable as they get, if only because he will be with the team in two years when he takes over third and Aramis Ramirez takes over first. Everyone else is fair game.

It's up to you GM Jim. The Cardinals have thrown down the gauntlet and could be poised to run away with the division if the Cubs continue to slip down the slippery slope. But the GM of the two-time defending champs wouldn't let that happen, right?