It’s Official: Holliday to A’s
As discussed on yesterday’s show, a bad lineup and a bigger ballpark = significant loss in fantasy value for Holliday. Street’s now a mid-tier closer with some risk (injury prone and the Coors factor) while Gonzalez is an intriguing late round flier.
OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s acquired outfielder Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for pitchers Greg Smith and Huston Street and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez in a trade announced today.
Holliday, the National League MVP runner-up and leading Major League All-Star vote-getter (player vote) in 2007, finished third in the National League with a .321 batting average last year. A .319 career hitter in five seasons with the Rockies, he has the fifth best average in the majors over the last five years and has hit .300 or better in each of the last four seasons. The 28-year old outfielder added 25 home runs and 88 RBI in 139 games in 2008 and also stole 28 bases, which ranked ninth in the NL.
“Improving the offense was clearly our stated priority this offseason,” said Billy Beane, the A’s vice president and general manager. “Trading for a player of Matt’s caliber begins the process of creating an environment in which our young hitters can continue to improve and our young pitchers can continue to develop into one of the best staffs in the league.”
Holliday enjoyed his best season in 2007 when he led the NL in batting (.340), hits (216), RBI (137), extra-base hits (92) and doubles (50) while finishing third in runs (120) and fourth in home runs (36). Propelling the Rockies to their first-ever World Series appearance, he hit five home runs in the 2007 postseason, the most of any player during those playoffs. The 6-4, 235-pound slugger batted .333 (5-for-15) with two homers and four RBI against Arizona in the National League Championship Series to earn NLCS Most Valuable Player honors.
A native of Stillwater, Okla., Holliday received 336 votes in the 2007 MVP balloting, only 17 votes shy of the winning candidate, Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins. The right-handed hitter is a three-time National League All-Star (2006-08) and has a two-year contract through the 2009 season. He will be eligible for free agency following next season.
Gonzalez made his major league debut with Oakland last year and hit .242 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 85 games over two stints with the A’s. He was one of six players acquired from Arizona in the Dan Haren trade on December 14, 2007, and began the season at Triple-A Sacramento before making his debut with Oakland on May 30. The 23-year old outfielder was named the A’s number one prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2008 season
Smith was also acquired in the Haren trade and also made his big league debut with Oakland last year. He posted a 7-16 record and a 4.16 ERA in a team leading 32 starts and led the majors with 16 pickoffs. The 24-year old left-hander also topped the A’s in innings (190.1), walks (87), home runs (21) and runs (92). His losses tied for seventh most in Oakland history.
Street began the 2008 season as the A’s closer and converted 18 of 25 (72.0%) save opportunities, which was the second lowest percentage among American League relievers. He was replaced by Brad Ziegler as closer on August 8 and compiled a 7-5 record and a 3.73 ERA in 63 appearances. The 25-year old right-hander saved 94 games in his four seasons with Oakland, which ranks fourth in A’s history.