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It's Holliday Season in St. Louis: Cardinals Acquire Slugger from Oakland

Jeremiah Graves@cheapseatchronAnalyst IJuly 24, 2009

One of the biggest names on the trade market has officially found a new home.

 

The Oakland Athletics sent outfielder Matt Holliday to the St. Louis cardinals in exchange for a trio of prospects.

 

The Athletics obtained third baseman Brett Wallace, outfielder Shane Peterson and right-handed pitcher Clayton Mortensen.

 

The Cardinals’ willingness to move Wallace is what made the deal work.

 

Wallace, 22, is a left-handed-hitting third baseman who was the 13th overall pick in the 2008 draft and has been promoted by the Cardinals from A-ball to Class AAA in roughly a year.

 

He was coveted by the A's for his great on-base percentage skills and because he plays a position that the Athletics have struggled to fill with healthy, productive players for a long time.

 

Peterson, 21, has put up solid numbers in the Cardinals system the past two seasons. His career line of .294/.377/.418 shows a lot of promise. He plays both corners in the outfield and has spent some time after first base.

 

Mortensen, 24, is in his third season of professional ball and has yet to blow anyone away on the field. His cumulative ERA in the minors is 4.30 with a 1.39 WHIP. He does, however, average 7.5 K/9 and could be transitioned to a bullpen role to maximize his potential.

 

Holliday, 29, has had a lackluster season overall, hitting .287 with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. His numbers in July, however, have been greatly improved as he’s hitting .338/.413/.574 with three homers and 14 RBIs.

 

Holliday, a free agent at the end of the season, is expected to join the Cardinals tonight in Philadelphia to begin a three-game series with the Phillies.

 

He presumably will bat cleanup for the Cardinals, giving first baseman Albert Pujols arguably the best lineup protection he has had in his career.

 

His presence also figures to help take the pressure off of outfielders Ryan Ludwick and Rick Ankiel, both of whom have endured struggles at the plate this season.

 

The move is certain to be welcomed by both Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, who has lobbied for the addition of Holliday in the past, and Pujols—a free agent after the 2011 season—who has previously questioned ownership’s commitment to winning.

 

According to FoxSports, the Cardinals reportedly received an additional $1.5 million in the deal, to offset the approximately $4.5 million remaining on Holliday's contract.

 

 

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