The A’s have traded for Matt Holliday. Wow! This one is a real shock to me. I mean, I didn’t even know they were even in the bidding for him. They were just sellers, and now all of a sudden they become buyers. I thought the A’s would continue selling off parts, but I guess they want to go for it in 2009. For Holliday, they traded Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street, and Greg Smith. In my opinion, the A’s did a decent job. I’d probably give them a B because they lost a great outfield prospect and will probably miss the playoffs even with Holliday. I give the Rockies an A because they got a huge return for just one year of Holliday. Carlos Gonzalez is a stud prospect that could become a player only a little worse than Holliday. Huston Street could become their next closer, replacing Brian Fuentes. If they would rather give the job to Taylor Buchholz or Manny Corpas, Street could become trade bait for a starter. Greg Smith is more of a throw in, but he adds depth to the rotation. having him out there instead of Glendon Rusch should make a big difference. The Rockies still need to add some pitching, though. Now that about 8 million is off the books, maybe the Rox will pursue a veteran starter via free agency. Derek Lowe could make sense because he’s a ground ball pitcher. So you wouldn’t have to overpay for him. They might again have to look at trades. Like I stated before, Street could be flipped to a different team for an arm. Maybe even combine him with a player such as Garret Atkins for a top-of-the-rotation starter. I know some people will think that Atkins will be off the block because of Holliday being moved; they’ll want to keep a big bat in there. But Ian Stewart still is without a position if they keep Garret. I think they trade Atkins even though Holliday is gone. Full seasons of Gonzalez and Stewart will make up for his production. The A’s might enter the free agent picture also. They showed that they will try to contend next year by trading for Holliday. They do have 30-35 million to spend if they are willing to raise payroll to 80 million. You’d think that they would be in the market for left side of the infield help. Rafeal Furcal could become a prime target. Casey Blake and Joe Crede could become possible third basemen aquisitions for their team. If they want to, they could even add another big bat like Prince Fielder. Imagine Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday together in a lineup that already features Jack Cust and possibly Rafael Furcal. With that kind of team and with various young players preforming well, they could rival the Angels for the AL East. If they can’t catch them, the wild card is an option. The Rockies might be able to compete in the weak NL West. Overall I like this trade a lot for both teams, but the Rockies definatly won it.
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The Tampa Bay Rays, the biggest surprise of the 2008 season, will hopefully build on their successfull 2008 season with a good offseason. In my top 50 free agents, I predicted they would dole out the cash and sign Adam Dunn. If they do, their offseason would be just about done. The only needs they have are DH and right field. They sign Dunn for DH, and could resign Eric Hinske or pick up Cliff Floyd’s option for ’09. Then trade for Matt Murton. They have always liked Murton, and tried to trade for him when he was with the Cubs. Murton seems to be avalable with the A’s because they have Travis Buck, Carlos Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeny and eventually Aaron Cunningham for the outfield. Murton shouldn’t be too hard to pry loose from Billy Beane, a GM always open to making a deal. Maybe offer them a Jason Hammel and Mitch Talbot. Neither guy has anywhere to go in the Rays organazation. Platoon Hinske with Murton and you have a successfull right field. If the Rays can’t get Dunn, they could still go after other DHs like Milton Bradley, Pat Burrell, Raul Ibanez, and Jason Giambi. They can keep the same right field. They could even sign Bobby Abreu and have him play right field and DH switching off with the platoon of Murton and Hinske. They will have to move a starter in the offseason. Either Andy Sonnanstine or Edwin Jackson need to be traded to open up a spot for stud prospect David Price. Maybe instead of using the platoon of Murton and Hinske they can trade Sonnanstine or Jackson for a right fielder. The Tampa Bay Rays have options, and are only one Adam Dunn type player awaty from contending for a world series.