Last week I wrote that the Blue Jays should trade Roy Halladay to the highest bidder. He deserves it after all he has done for that team and city.
This week, I am taking a look at another big name player and soon to be free agent: Matt Holliday.
Billy Beane made one of the biggest splashes of the off-season by trading closer Huston Street, starter Greg Smith and hot shot outfield prospect Carlos Gonzalez to Colorado for the slugging outfielder. That deal has not played out so well for either team. Gonzalez is not hitting and has posted almost a 3 to 1 K:BB ratio. Smith has not thrown a pitch in the majors at all this season, and Street has had a rocky road all season. Although the path seems to be less bumpy at the moment.
Then there is Holliday who is hitting .276 with just 8 home runs, and none since June 5th. Of course it does not help to have .192 hitting Jason Giambi as your lineup protection. Nomar Garciaparra, Jack Cust, Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis, Kurt Suzuki, and Orlando Cabrera have not provided much more protection than Giambi.
The lineup could be part of the problem for Holliday or it could be that he played half of his home games in Colorado. Either way his trade value is pretty low, and there is no way Oakland can get what they want in return for him, which would be 2 first round picks. That is exactly what they could get for him by offering him arbitration and letting him leave via free agency.
Had he simply had a bad April and then gone on a tear starting in May, this situation would be different. Teams would be clamoring for him to come to their team. He could be this year’s CC Sabathia. Going to a team in the race and carrying them on his broad shoulders into the playoffs and possibly further. But for the A’s to take 50 cents, or less, on the dollar for a guy which they gave up a good amount for, does not seem like a Billy Beane move. Accordingly, any team interested in Holliday cannot risk their future on the chance that playing in meaningful games gets Holliday’s bat back on track.
The A’s are not going anywhere this year. So why not take the compensation draft pick, for losing Holliday, along with their fairly high draft pick, based on this years standings, and get some good prospects.
The A’s will not get nearly as much in return at this point in time. It would be the most wise thing to keep Holliday and let him walk. They built their teams in the early part of this decade with great 1st round picks. Keeping Holliday and taking the compensation pick along with their own pick will allow them to start to do that again.