Any team looking to trade for Rockies' outfielder Matt Holliday better be ready to part with most, if not all, of its main trading chips. Here's why:
1. He is under contract through the 2009 season at a reasonable rate of $13.5 million, considering he's a top 10 talent in the game.
2. Numerous times have teams been dreadful one season and come back looking like world-beaters the next year, or vice-versa.
3. The Rockies have a nice up-and-coming team with a core group of young pitchers and positional players and trading Holliday would set them back a few years, no matter what a realistic return they could get from trading him.
4. They could just wait it out, see if next year goes better and if they are out of it again, they could trade him. Or they could just keep him and take the draft choices from him signing somewhere else.
5. Like I mentioned in No. 3, they have a talented young core, so signing Holliday would give them a chance to be good for at least the next five to eight years.
Prospective parties would have to part with their best overall prospect to start with, then add another talented player or two and that still might be enough to pry away Holliday.
I'd love to be the Rockies right now. They're in no rush to trade Holliday, they have all that good young talent, and he's signed for next season. They can wait another year until they have to trade him if they are planning on it, or take the compensation picks. They could also just keep him.
I believe the Rockies would have to be bowled over to even think about giving up on Matt Holliday. It's been reported they'd like to get a good young pitcher if they did make such a trade, one of the caliber of a David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays, Clayton Kershaw of the L.A. Dodgers, or even potentially Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Max Scherzer.
But those names would just be the start of the asking price. You'd have to imagine the Rockies would want your best positional player as well, plus another mid-level prospect or two.
Teams are going to balk at this asking price and move on to options B and C. He'd be a great addition to any team looking to bolster their lineup, but at the likely cost, I expect him to remain a member of the Rockies at least until next year's trade deadline.