I know, I know, I am a couple of days late with this. This weekend was hectic for me, but this is a baseball blog and I feel I should talk about one of the biggest trades of the season at some point. It’s better to be late than never.
So as we all know by now, the Oakland A’s traded OF Matt Holliday to the St. Louis for minor-league prospects 3B Brett Wallace, RHP Clayton Mortensen, and OF Shane Peterson.
Whatever happens with the Cardinals in the next two months, one thing is for sure – you have to respect them for going for it. In a year where the economy is in the toilet and baseball teams are cutting back their spending – the Cardinals are doing the opposite.
They added payroll by first acquiring Mark DeRosa and then added more payroll by adding one of the better all around players in the game in Matt Holliday. The Cardinals feel there is not a clear cut favorite in the National League and by adding these pieces, they have just as good of a shot as anyone to win it.
Here is another thing, I like about what the Cardinals did. They got players who seem to fit the overall organizational philosophy. The Cardinals’ pride themselves on players who can play the game the right way and can do a lot of things well. Both DeRosa and Holliday fit that bill to a tee.
Now the Cardinals didn’t get Halladay for a box of baseballs. The Cardinals had to give up Brett Wallace, who was the No. Two ranked prospect in the Cardinals’ organization according to Baseball America and was the Cardinals’ first round pick (13th overall) in the 2008 draft.
Wallace in two minor-league seasons hit .307 with 19 HR’s, 73 RBI, and had a .389 OBP. Wallace seems like a typical Billy Beane type player. Very solid hitter, solid OBP guy, and can’t field a lick. He came up as a third baseman, but I am guessing Wallace will be the A’s starting first baseman in 2010.
Mortensen and Peterson are no chumps either. Mortensen was the Cardinals’ first round pick in 2007 and their sixth ranked prospect according to Baseball America. In two minor-league seasons, he was 16-19 with a 4.25 ERA and had 255 K’s in 311 IP. Mortensen projects to be a No. Three starter in the majors.
Peterson was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2008 draft. In two minor-league seasons, he hit .293 with eight HR’s, 86 RBI, 15 SB’s, and had a .375 OBP. Another high OBP guy for Billy Beane.
This was a lot to give up for maybe only two and a half months of Matt Holliday. There is talk of the Cardinals talking extension with Holliday, but with Scott Boras as Holliday’s agent, that might be a tall order.
Either way, the Cardinals are clearing going for it. Shouldn’t every team have that mentality?