Matt Holliday Trade Kicks Off MLB Offseason

Ben SpicerCorrespondent INovember 12, 2008

The 2008 Major League Baseball season brought forth a lot of memories, which has led many fans to believe that this offseason will not disappoint.

And thus far, it hasn't.

Earlier today the Oakland Athletics acquired 28-year-old left fielder Matt Holliday from the Colorado Rockies. Holliday's contract is up after next season, and many were projecting the Rockies to dump him off somewhere, as they likely didn't have the kind of money to keep him in the Rocky Mountains.

Contrary to popular belief, however, is the fact that Colorado might just have come out victorious in this swap.

The Rockies acquired Huston Street, a 25-year-old former relief pitcher for the Athletics, Greg Smith, a 24-year-old starting pitcher with some solid upside, and one of the Athletics' big farm prospects in Carlos Gonzales, a 23-year-old outfielder.

Gonzales has a lot of potential, so down the road a scenario could occur in which he becomes a better player than Holliday was.

Certainly that's a side to examine of this deal.

Not only that, there's also the fact that the Rockies added Huston Street, a relief pitcher with room still to grow and the potential to become something bigger than he already is.

There's also another piece of the trade in Greg Smith.

Smith has been widely overlooked in this deal, but at 24 years of age there's always the chance that he can develop. And with the expectations for young Rockies pitchers, such as Ubaldo Jimenez, so sky-high, Smith could progress very nicely with his new team.

The one thing I do not like about this trade for the Rockies, though, is the fact that it was done in the offseason.

A type of transaction, especially one with the magnitude of trading away your star player and team icon, should probably be best fit for the trade deadline. Especially considering he could produce immediately on Opening Day, something I'm not really expecting out of Gonzales, Street, or Smith out of the gate.

With a .242 batting average last season, the Athletics needed some help there, and Holliday is a productive piece to that portion of needs in Oakland's lineup. But will he be there for a long time?

If the answer is no, than it's almost easy to proclaim Colorado the winner of this deal, for one reason and one reason only. And that's potential.