Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cards trade for Matt Holliday

Making another trade, the Cardinals traded three minor leagues for 2007 NL Batting Champion and three-time All Star Matt Holliday.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired three-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday and cash considerations from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor leaguers Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen.

"We are extremely excited to have acquired Matt Holliday," said Cardinals' Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. "Matt is an impact player who gives us an instant added threat in the middle of our lineup. These types of opportunities are rare. The price to complete this deal was steep, but our organization feels that it should greatly improve our chances to compete for a postseason berth. I want to thank both ownership and our scouting and player development staffs for enabling us to be in position to bring a player with the credentials of Matt Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals."

Holliday, 29, owns a career .315 batting average with 139 home runs and 537 RBI in five-plus seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2004-08) and Oakland Athletics (2009). He was batting .286 with 11 homers and 54 RBI for the A's this season and was 16-for-41 (.390) with six doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI and 12 runs scored in his last 10 games. He is batting .337 (29-86) over his last 22 games.

The Stillwater, Okla. native batted .300 or better in four of his first five seasons, with the lone exception being his rookie season of 2004 when he batted .290. A three-time (2006-08) N.L. All-Star and Silver Slugger award winner, Holliday enjoyed an MVP-caliber season in 2007 while helping the Rockies to their first-ever World Series appearance.

The right-handed hitting Holliday enjoyed career bests in batting (.340), hits (216), doubles (50), RBI (137) and extra-base hits (92) in 2007, leading the N.L. in each category. He finished a close runner-up to the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins for league MVP honors that year and was named the MVP of the N.L. Championship Series after the Rockies got by Arizona.

Entering 2009, Holliday had hit .300 or better and finished among the top seven in batting in the N.L. in each of his last four seasons, joining Albert Pujols as the only players who can make that claim. His .315 batting average since 2004 ranks 6th-best among active players in all of baseball (Suzuki - .335, Pujols - .334, Mauer - .322, V. Guerrero - .321, Helton - .316). Holliday is one of seven players since 2005 with at least 100 home runs and 50 stolen bases (Sizemore-CLE, Soriano-CHI, Wright-NY, Beltran-NY, Hunter-LAA and A. Rodriguez-NYY).
Holliday is wearing #15, which is considered blasphemy despite Jim Edmonds playing for the Cubs during the 2008 season.

The Cardinals also made some other roster moves.

They traded Chris Duncan and a player to be named later to the Boston Red Sox for Julio Lugo.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced this afternoon that they have acquired infielder Julio Lugo and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Chris Duncan and a player-to-be-named-later or cash considerations.

"We felt that Julio could help our club by improving our middle infield depth," said Cardinals' Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. "He gives us another right-handed bat and provides Tony with additional flexibility. We're optimistic that he will respond positively to a fresh start here in St. Louis."

Lugo, 33, was batting .284 with a homer and 8 RBI in 37 games for the Red Sox this season, including a .333 average against left-handed pitching. Lugo made his last appearance on July 6 before being designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week.[...]

Duncan, 28, was optioned to Memphis (AAA) after last night's game. He was batting .227 with 5 home runs and 32 RBI for the Cardinals this season.

"Chris Duncan was drafted and developed by this organization, and in addition to being a talented player we all recognize him as a high-quality individual," said Mozeliak. "He was an important part of our World Championship club in 2006. I know I speak for our entire organization when I say that we are grateful to Chris for what he has given to the Cardinals and our fans."
I feel for Chris Duncan but he's been struggling this season.

Perhaps the saddest piece of transactional moves is this. Jess Todd was sent to Cleveland to complete the DeRosa deal.
Todd was 4-2 with 24 saves and a 2.20 ERA (49.0 IP / 12 ER) for Memphis. A 2nd-round selection (82nd overall) of the Cardinals in the 2007 draft, Todd appeared in one game for St. Louis this season. The 5'11", 210-pound right-hander out of the University of Arkansas allowed two runs on three hits while walking two and fanning two in 1.2 innings in his Major League debut on June 5 vs. Colorado. Todd was the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2008.
The trade deadline is Friday afternoon so we shall see what else happens this week.

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