Matt Holliday and the Cardinals: Do They Really Need Him?

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Matt Holliday and the Cardinals: Do They Really Need Him?
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Just before heading to bed last night, I got a "tweet" on Twitter, the new social network, reporting that utility player Mark DeRosa had been acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals.  

Let's just say I was too giddy to fall asleep.

DeRosa, in my opinion, is a great fit for the Redbirds.  

First off, he can play multiple positions, which will get him bonus points from manager Tony LaRussa.  

Secondly, he's a quality hitter to add to the Cardinal lineup.  

Now, does that mean he'll be the perfect protection for Pujols?  

Possibly, but I'm not making any guarantees.  

Lastly, DeRosa is a veteran, but he's not too old (if that makes sense).  

Let me explain: Although DeRosa is 34 years old, he can still play with the big boys (as illustrated by his "diving" catch in left this afternoon).

All the Cardinals need to do is make the playoffs and let DeRosa work his magic. DeRosa has hit .350 in the playoffs in his career.

That's better than current STL superstar Albert Pujols.

Wait a minute, how do the Cardinals make the playoffs in the first place?

Good question.

I'd be happy to answer, but truly, only time will tell.

Let's start off by taking a look at three different scenarios and whether the Cards make the playoffs or not.

 

Mark Derosa Heats Up

Picture this: Mark DeRosa continually drops bombs over the heads of helpless outfielders, putting more and more numbers on the Cardinal scoreboard.

Not only would Mark DeRosa be smashing the ball, but Albert Pujols (hopefully) would be too.  

If DeRosa becomes a dominant clean-up hitter, Pujols will obviously get more and more pitches to hit, and we've seen what he can do with those.  

If these two can go absolutely insane for the second half of the season, the Cardinals will undoubtedly make the playoffs.

 

Albert Pujols Goes Down with Injury

If El Hombre were to spend some time on the DL, you can count on two things:

1.  Sightings of John Mozeliak continually weeping.

2.  All chances of playoff hopes eliminated.

 

Cardinals Acquire Matt Holliday

You thought I was ecstatic after the DeRosa trade?  

In the words of Bachman Turner Overdrive, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet."  

Can you imagine Holliday in STL?  

Sure, Holliday isn't having the best of years, but he's another quality slugger in the lineup.
Also, keep in mind that Holliday used to rake in the NL.
Oddly enough, he hasn't done nearly as much in the AL. If the Redbirds could somehow acquire him, I see success in the future.  (In other words: Yes, the Cardinals would make the playoffs.)
Enough talk about these silly situations.  
Get to the point.  
How much would Holliday cost? 
Well, I don't mean to rain on your parade...but it's a lot.  
A lot.
Oakland A's GM Billy Beane wasn't born yesterday.  He knows how dominant Matt Holliday can be.  
He's also the writer of a famous book by the name of Moneyball.  If you haven't caught on yet, Beane is not cheap to say the least.  
One can only wonder what Beane will want for Holliday.  
Knowing what other struggling clubs have been doing, Beane will probably want young prospects.  
Good ones, too.  
Heck, he may even want Colby Rasmus as part of the deal.  
Potential players that I would give to A's for Holliday include Mark Shorey, Brett Wallace, and Jarrett Haufpauir, to name a few.  
Now, I know those three have the potential to be incredible players, especially Wallace.
But would you rather take a chance on three players who, combined, have no major league experience, or would you go after a well-known, reliable slugger in Matt Holliday? 
That's what I thought.
You see, the Cardinals need to win a World Series, and they need to do it fast.  
Why?
Albert Pujols becomes a free agent after the 2011 season.  
Okay, you're probably pondering the significance of Pujols' free agency.  Well, Pujols wants to win.
He doesn't want money.
He doesn't want media.  
He'd rather have championships.  If the Cardinals can get him one before his opt-out, then he's almost a lock to be back.
With Matt Holliday joining the club, that World Series becomes this much closer.  
Let's take a look at the benefits of Holliday:


Protection for Pujols

You thought DeRosa was enough; imagine if Holliday was in the four spot behind El Hombre.  

I doubt any NL starter would walk away with clean underwear.

 

Another Right-Handed Hitter

Holliday undoubtedly would be an everyday guy in the OF. Against lefties, he and Ludwick would be two quality-hitting right-handers.
That means TLR has to choose amongst Colby Rasmus, Rick Ankiel, or Chris Duncan—all of whom struggle with southpaws.

Experience
Holliday has already spent five quality years in the majors, and, oh yeah, he's only 29.
Maybe I should have titled this section "Experience at a Young Age"...nah.

 

 


Bottom Line
Holliday would definitely be beneficial to the Cardinals.  With him, I only see the Redbirds' chances of a playoff run increasing.  
Now all we have to do is go get him.

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