The Cardinals and Phillies have surfaced as frontrunners for Matt Holliday. I recently wrote about the Cardinals situation. Additionly, they are offering a package of Ryan Ludwick, Skip Schumaker and Mitchell Boggs. This package is very strong, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see the Rox accept. Ludwick could play left field replacing Holliday, and Schumaker could share center field with Ryan Spilborhgs, replacing Willy Taveres if dealt. (which is very likely, especially if this trade goes down) The Cardinals open up two spots in the outfield corners by trading Ludwick and Schumaker. Holliday takes left, Ankiel moves to right, and top prospect Colby Rasmus takes over in center. I really like this trade a lot for both teams.
The Phillies are very interested as well. They can offer a lot, but not as much as the Cardinals. The Phils package would be Carlos Carrasco, Greg Golson, Joe Savery, and Lou Marson. This package is not very enticing to the Rox, however. Dextor Fowler is just as good as Golson is. Chris Iannetta is better than Lou Marson. Carrasco and Savery add depth, but you don’t trade Matt Holliday for just depth. I don’t see the Phillies working a deal out.
So both the Cardinals and Phillies are very aggresive in these trade talks. But the Cards have the undoubted lead.
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The Rockies are likely to entertain offers for Matt Holliday this winter. Lets take a look at some teams that could be interested.
Rockies (frontrunner) There is no clear fit for Holliday, making it likely that he stays put this winter. It seems as though teams would be more willing to sign a Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, or Pat Burrell before trading top prospects for Holliday. I think he stays.
Rays (possible) If the Rays miss out on the big free agent targets named above then Holliday makes sense here. They would need to be willing to part with some prospects, however. I don’t think the Rox will ask for David Price again just as they did at the trade-deadline. I think Wade Davis and Reid Brignac would definatly get a deal done unless Dan O’Dowd is still asking for the moon like he did with Holliday and Brian Fuentes at the trade-deadline. I don’t know if the Rays would do that deal, either.
Angels (possible) The Angels are a possible destination if they miss out on Mark Teixera and maybe even if they bring back Tex. Nick Adenhart could be available and maybe Adenhart plus Sean Rodriguez = Matt Hoilliday. I think the Angels would do that move. The time for the Rockies to make that trade was July 28, 2008, however, because the Angels might of even offered more and gotten Holliday instead of Teixera. A deal still could be worked out, though.
Yankees (possible) The Yankees could pull off a trade for Holliday. If they let Bobby Abreu walk they could move Xavier Nady to right which opens up a run at Holliday to play left field. They would have to offer Phil Hughes or Austin Jackson, however. The Yankees seem to want to keep Jackson and make him their every-day center fielder at some point next year or in 2010 worst case scenerio. Hughes seems more likely, but that doesn’t mean they’ll move him. The Rockies would jump at a chance to get either, though, and you never know what Hank Steinbrenner will order Brian Cashman to do.
Phillies (possible) This might not happen becasue the Phillies don’t have much young talent. They would have to give up the entire farm to get him and that might not be enough. It would take a package of Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Greg Golson, and Joe Savery. This would kill the system, and I’m not sure they would want to do that for a rentall. They might not be able to afford it, either, unless they make a Ryan Howard trade and that doesn’t make a lot of sense unless they get a great offer. I don’t know if the Rox would even take that. They have a better center field prospect, better catcher, and get only 2 good, not great, pitching prospects.
Nationals (slim chance) It has been stated that the Nats could make a huge offer to the Rox and then ask for a 72 hour negotiation clause. Then they would offer him a major deal and get him to sign an extension with them. This doesn’t make much sense to me because A) Holliday will almost definatly want to test the free agent market unless he gets Scott Boras’ crazy demands in the extension. And B) Why don’t the Nats just keep their young talent and make this monster offer in the offseason of next year. I doubt this happens and if they’re even interested, Jim Bowden needs to be fired right away.
Royals (slim chance) They too are not likely for the same reasons the Nationals aren’t. But, since they are a possibility I will metion them.
Blue Jays (Dark Horse) This would be if my wild trade thought happens. I don’t think it’s likely, but that’s why they are a dark horse and not a favorite. You can see what I think about a possible aquisition in the link.
The Colorado Rockies are in a tough position. They need to decide whether they want to try to contend for ’09 or if they want to rebuild. I have said before that the Rox would be smart to retool, because they play in a poor division. They only need a reliever, starter, and a second baseman. Clint Barmes is just as good if not better than any free agent second baseman on the market other than Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis. They shouldn’t waste their money on that position. They should let Brian Fuentes walk and could let former closer Manny Corpas replace him. They need another middle reliever, though. They need to sign a starter badly. It will be tough to convince players to come to Coors Field, however. The could try to sign starters, but they don’t have much money to spend and aren’t one starter away from catching the D’Backs or Dodgers. They might end up trading Matt Holliday and rebuilding. They need to open up a spot in the lineup for Ian Stewart. The could deal Garret Atkins and play Stewart at third base, or they could trade Matt Holliday and move Stewart to left field. One of Holliday or Atkins will be traded if the Rockies decide to rebuild. There will be a ton of suitors for both. They could trade Atkins to the Twins for Nick Blackburn or Kevin Slowey. They could tarde Holliday to the Phillies for Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Greg Golson, and Joe Savery. It would be a great win-now move for the Phillies, but they would completley destroy their farm system. The Rox would get a pretty nice haul for one year of Holliday. Possibly to the Reds for Homer Baily and others. Maybe to the Angels fo a package around Nick Adenhart and Sean Rodriguez. The Phillies make the most sense, especially if they trade Ryan Howard to keep their farm system respectable. There are many desinations for Holliday, but if I were the Rockies, I would trade him right away before teams started signing the big money left fielders like Adam Dunn, Pat Burrell, Manny Ramirez, Milton Bradley, and Raul Ibanez. So the Rockies could go in two different directions, but I think the rebuilding choice would be more fun to watch.