Billy Beane

MLB Monday: Trading Holliday

One doesn’t have to be Billy Beane to figure out why everyone’s speculating on where Matt Holliday is going to be traded. The Oakland A’s have the worst record in the American League, Holliday hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in his first two months in the green and gold, and Beane has never been shy about dumping a big name for an even bigger bounty of prospects.

Holliday’s probably out of town by July 31, to be sure. Unfortunately for the Athletics, after that trade Oakland’s offense would be the worst in baseball. Yes, even worse than the whiffle-bat toting Giants. As poor as Holliday hit in April, it looks like he finally got used to AL pitching in May (.291/.416/.456, 5 HR, 4 SB). Jettisoning Holliday another batch of youngsters might make the Sacramento Rivercats the most powerful team in Triple-A, but the big league squad’s talent level would be pretty meager.

Without Holliday, the A’s will only have two players capable of hitting for power (Jack Cust and Jason Giambi), and even worse for the franchise that needs to cover their upper deck with tarps/ambience, their lineup besides those two players (and possibly Orlando Cabrera, or Nomar Garciaparra when he’s healthy) would be the most anonymous in baseball.

Let’s touch base with the Athletics, shall we?

When you run your team on a food-stamp budget, sometimes you have to buy some goods that are past their expiration date. Sometimes they’ll stay good for longer than you think, but a lot of times what you buy is going to end up spoiling. In Oakland’s case, selecting injury-prone players has led to a predictable outcome: seven A’s are currently on the disabled list, with a whopping four of them on the 60-day DL (Mark Ellis, Eric Chavez, Joey Devine and Justin Duchsherer). . . Righty reliever Dan Guise is on the 15-day DL, with a condition called right elbow ulnaritis that sounds a lot dirtier than it probably is. . . Here’s a gratuitous stat that Randy Johnson’s quest for 300 brings to mind: career wins the Oakland A’s roster currently possesses: 97. Of those 97 wins, 35 are credited to journeyman Russ Springer. Right now you’re saying, “Yeah dude, we get it. A’S PITCHERS ARE YOUNG.” . . . Josh Outman has been one of the best under-the-radar pitchers in baseball, to the point where I’m one good start away from adding him to my fantasy team (until somebody in my league reads this, then picks him up just to spite me). In 6 May starts Outman went 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA, a WHIP of 1.04 and opposing hitters hit .176 against him.

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