Posted on July 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM
Filed Under: Oakland A's
| St. Louis Cardinals
Maybe this is just writer speculation. Maybe it's Billy Beane trying to drive up the price for Matt Holliday amongst other teams. Maybe it's a joke that's gone too far.
But this report
that the Cardinals might be starting to consider sending Brett Wallace to Oakland for Halladay sends chills up my spine, so much so that you are getting a short blog post dealing with it.
Let's list out the reasons that this is a bad idea, shall we?
1) Matt Holliday is a Scott Boras free agent
. You aren't likely to get him to sign a nice, hometown discount extension. You aren't likely to have smooth negotiations to get him to give up his shot at free agent riches. You are likely to have the same hole in the offense after October that you do right now without the hope of a prospect coming up to fill it.
2) Matt Holliday isn't a game changer
. Holliday's a good player, don't get me wrong. Under other circumstances, I'd love to have him in St. Louis. Even with his recent hot streak, though, he's not an MVP candidate outside the confines of the Rocky Mountains. He's a good, solid bat, one that could help but not necessarily carry the offense. I don't know that putting him instead of Ryan Ludwick (especially with Ludwick's resurgence) makes teams more likely to pitch to Albert Pujols instead of walking him. You don't trade your top guy for a nice player. You trade your top guy for someone that you are as close to 100% as possible will make a major difference.
3) You could get the same offensive boost, perhaps, in just promoting Wallace
. Tony LaRussa seems to want Mark DeRosa at third, fine. Put Wallace in left field. We've dealt with Chris Duncan's defense out there for so long, I think we could tolerate Wallace's, especially if he starts contributing offensively. If he gets really bad, move DeRosa out there and him back to third. I know he's no great shakes there either, but you've got the option.
4) It's Billy Beane
. Have we learned nothing from the Mark Mulder trade? Beane may have lost a little bit of his invincibility aura, but he's still got the reputation. And while Daric Barton, the big time prospect in the Mulder trade, didn't pan out as expected, I think we still would rate that deal as a loss, right? Do you really want to see Wallace dominate the AL for 5 years for two months of above-average production from Holliday?
5) Pitching is more pressing
. There are a lot of options in the offense. Ludwick is in good form again. Pujols is Pujols. Colby Rasmus is becoming a dependable bat. DeRosa is chipping in. You have the new acquisition of Julio Lugo, seeing what he can do. You have the possibilities of Troy Glaus and Khalil Greene returning. If you used 13 hitters, you probably wouldn't have to worry as much about the offense either, allowing for more pinch hitting and matchup play than you have with this short bench.
Whereas the GM and manager both say that there are no better options in the system than Todd Wellemeyer. Todd Wellemeyer has a 5.68 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP. If there's no one better, you need to go out and find someone. I wouldn't use Wallace for just anyone, of course, but as I've said ad nauseum, Roy Halladay would be one that I would.
6) Wallace is cheap
. When Pujols's contract comes up, you are going to need quality players that are being paid at below-market rates due to club control. Rasmus is one of those guys. Wallace can be another. You don't just give him away for a guy that, even if you are going to resign him, would take millions of dollars, dollars that may mean the difference between Albert Pujols, lifetime Cardinal and Albert Pujols, New York Met. At least if you got Halladay, you'd have him for two years and could let him walk after 2010, getting picks and saving money. You can do that with Holliday, but instead of two playoff pushes, you get one.
This is a horrible, terrible, no-good, rotten idea and I hope that this is the only time it sees the light of day.
Leave a comment