Rockies trying to keep Yankees in Holliday discussions

Much ado about Pavano
Yanks looking at "Larry Bowa type" at third base

It’s a well-known ploy among teams and agents: make sure you float the notion that the Yankees are involved. The idea is that this will cause other teams to pony up more money, lest they lose out to the financial juggernauts of the East. Strategically this works better for free agents, but surely teams like to keep the Yankees involved when they’re talking trade. This winter, we’re seeing this logic employed by the Padres, in the Jake Peavy proceedings, and we’re starting to see it from the Rockies in their quest to deal Matt Holliday.

For today’s edition, we point to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. He opens the article talking about Brian Fuentes, a reported target of our crosstown rivals. In the bottom third, he talks about the potential trades of Garrett Atkins and Matt Holliday. He brings up an interesting point, though given the language he uses, it seems that this might be little more than a pipe dream:

There’s a growing likelihood that Matt Holliday will be traded at some point, given that the Rockies have conceded they won’t be able to sign him long-term. When surveying executives about a possible landing spot, the Yankees continue to pop up. One scenario floated: Yankees trade Hideki Matsui to Seattle and land Holliday with a package focusing on starter Phil Hughes.

Of course, trading Matsui doesn’t necessarily open up an outfield spot for Holliday. Brian Cashman has stated that the plan is to have Johnny Damon leading off and starting in left. Matsui, after surgeries on each of his knees in the past year, isn’t expected to play much, if at all, in the outfield. Judging by what we saw of him this year, that’s probably for the better.

The move would allow Damon to DH more frequently. He hit .320/.407/.437 as a DH in 2008 over 119 plate appearances. He was far worse in 2007 as a hitter only — .229/.316/.328 — though early season injuries and general lack of conditioning forced him into that role. He stepped up his production considerably later on that year after retaining his health. He could also play center field some games, perhaps enabling Brett Gardner to sit against lefties.

Renck misses the biggest obstacle in this scenario: Who do the Yanks get back from Seattle? It couldn’t be much. We’re talking about a guy who will turn 35 during the season, who can’t play the outfield, and who is scheduled to make $13 million in the final year of his contract. Even with salary relief coming from the Yankees, the proposition isn’t so attractive for the Ms. Why would they give up a young, controllable player — surely what the Yankees would seek in exchange — for such a player?

Hideki might be headed into the twilight of his career, but he can still be an effective player. If his surgically repaired knees can stand the rigors of DHing, he can provide more value to the Yankees offense than any player they could get in return. Because he’s essentially a one-year rental, teams won’t be apt to give up much value.

And then don’t get me started on trading Hughes for Holliday.

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Much ado about Pavano
Yanks looking at "Larry Bowa type" at third base
  • daneptizl

    What about starting the trade with Nady/ Kennedy for Holliday?

    • radnom

      Why not replace Nady with a combination of Melky and Shelley Duncan?

      • Bo

        Why not throw in Eric Duncan??? Maybe Justin Christian too!

      • daneptizl

        ?

        • radnom

          Sorry I was being a jerk.

          Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?

          • daneptizl

            You don’t think Nady/Kennedy can start the deal?

            • Mike Pop

              Naa man cuz NAdy is an FA after this season with Boras.. No chance

              • daneptizl

                I thought about that, but if he could somehow be given a window to sign an extension, then maybe…

                • Mike Pop

                  Doubt it man.. Why would they do that.. Nady is just average.. The only reason I could see them doing that is so they could trade him for more prospects but you probably cant get a ton

            • radnom

              I really don’t think so. I think it would have to start with Hughes.

  • Bo

    How lazy are these writers?

    They didnt trade Hughes for Santana. Now hes going for a LF in his walk yr with Boras as an agent.

    Kind of hilarious.

    • steve (different one)

      it would be the same scenario as Santana: the trade would have to come with a 72 hour window to negotiate an extension. no extension, no Hughes. so the point about his walk year is a moot one, i think.

      now, as for trading Hughes for Holliday after passing on Santana…i think this DOES make some sense.

      that does NOT mean i would necessarily make the trade. i am not sure if i would or not.

      but just because they passed on trading Hughes for Santana does NOT mean they should automatically pass on trading Hughes for Holliday.

      let’s say the Yankees sign Sabathia.

      now, you have Holliday + Sabathia vs. Santana

      assuming the Yankees probably wouldn’t sign Sabathia if they had just signed Santana the year before, which scenario makes your team better? i’d say the first, no?

      Holliday is a VERY good player. yes, i am aware of his home/road splits. but that doesn’t mean you just take his road splits and assume that is how he would hit as a Yankee. you should look at his overall park adjusted OPS+ and try to place that in the context of the AL and Yankee stadium. that number will be higher than his road splits.

      i would love to have Matt Holliday on the 2009 Yankees. i would like that to happen without Phil Hughes going the other way. i don’t know if that is possible or not. but i don’t think it’s crazy to consider it IF you wind up with Sabathia.

      • Chris C.

        “Holliday is a VERY good player. yes, i am aware of his home/road splits. but that doesn’t mean you just take his road splits and assume that is how he would hit as a Yankee.”

        No, it would probably be WORSE, because Yankee Stadium has never been kind to rightees. The guy isn’t AROD.

        “you should look at his overall park adjusted OPS+ and try to place that in the context of the AL and Yankee stadium. that number will be higher than his road splits.”

        I’m not following this logic. How can you place NL park splits in the context of the AL, when they are still NL numbers? And then assume they will be HIGHER??

        “i would love to have Matt Holliday on the 2009 Yankees. i would like that to happen without Phil Hughes going the other way.”

        Why couldn’t it? Phil Hughes is the only young talented prospect the Yankees have?

        “i don’t think it’s crazy to consider it IF you wind up with Sabathia.”

        I do not see what one has to do with the other, unless you believe that CC Sabathia is superman and will cure all the Yankee pitching woes on is own. I love Sabathia, and he’d be great for the Yankees, but has anyone checked out all the mileage on is arm already? I don’t think his acqusition means you can than trade your 22 year old pitcing prospect.

        • steve (different one)

          I’m not following this logic. How can you place NL park splits in the context of the AL, when they are still NL numbers? And then assume they will be HIGHER??

          i don’t think i phrased this well.

          my point is that you don’t just take his road OPS and say “that would be his OPS as a Yankee”. that ignores HALF of the sample.

          there is no reason to ignore half of the sample. those games in Coors can’t be dismissed. you just have to know how to adjust them.

          in 2008, Holliday had an OBP of .409 and a SLG of .538.

          league average for all players who played half their games at Coors (and not including pitchers) was .348 and .439 respectively.

          so, his OPS+ would be (OBP/lgOBP) + (SLG/lgSLG) – 1.

          those numbers already account for the effect of Coors field.

          to look at how he would hit as a Yankee, i’ll compare him to the league averages for a Yankee, say A-Rod:

          for A-Rod, lgOBP and lgSLG were .340 and .426.

          roughly translated, Holliday’s raw OBP and SLG would be something like .399 and .523 for an OPS of .922

          notice that these numbers are lower than the .947 OPS he put up as a Rockie, but they are HIGHER than his road OPS of .896.

          • Chris C.

            Great post, and great work, Steve..

            Thanks for clearing it up. I couldn’t quite get what you originally posted, but this explains it well. If they end up with Holliday, I just hope it translates on the field.

        • steve (different one)

          No, it would probably be WORSE, because Yankee Stadium has never been kind to rightees. The guy isn’t AROD.

          and you are basing this on….?

          let’s not compare current Yankee stadium to Yankee stadium in days of DiMaggio.

          why would Holliday hit WORSE in Yankee stadium than he does on the road in the NL West?

          Why couldn’t it? Phil Hughes is the only young talented prospect the Yankees have?

          where did i say it couldn’t? here is what i said: “i don’t know if that is possible or not. ”

          I don’t think his acqusition means you can than trade your 22 year old pitcing prospect.

          did you even read what i wrote? here is what i said:

          “that does NOT mean i would necessarily make the trade. i am not sure if i would or not. ”

          Matt Holliday is an All-Star OFer who is only 28 years old. the Yankees need offense just as much as they need pitching.

          all i said is it isn’t crazy to consider it. and it isn’t.

          • steve (different one)

            bold tags: FAIL.

          • Chris C.

            If they get Holiday, would you still start Nady in Right? Because now it starts to look like they’re getting a little righty-heavy in the middle of the order.
            I would have to think Abreu will be gone then.

            “all i said is it isn’t crazy to consider it. and it isn’t.”

            Fair enough. But if you’re Brian Cashman, then you ARE crazy, because you didn’t put Hughes in the Santana deal 1 year earlier, and now you’re parting with him for a corner outfielder? That’s a bit crazy. And I don’t want to hear about how different the situations are, and Santana also cost a fortune, and all that other jazz. The Yankees practically print their own money, and they knew that a ton was coming off the books this year anyway. So now they’ll try and spend that same money, maybe more, on Sabathia, when they wouldn’t have had to so desperately.
            So you think the Yankees should consider that deal, and you make a valid argument for it. But I don’t think Cashman will.

  • mustang

    Hughes for Holliday and he can sell us the Rocky Mountains for a good price.

    LOL

    • radnom

      Did you download some sort of virus that puts a big capitol LOL after everything you write?

      • mustang

        No. I just like to laugh.
        But I do have a virus for annoying questions I have to get some soft ware for that.

        • mustang

          OH ! Forgot
          LOL

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

            lol

  • Slugger27

    ya, enough with the holliday stuff… dudes home/road splits are impossible to ignore, and he certainly aint worth a package of good prospects

    ppl are really down on matsui and i dont know why… hes only got 1 year left on his deal, 13M isnt an extraordinary amount… and when healthy, they guy can still get on base and drive in runs… why is everyone so quick to wanting to trade him? u wont get much in return, and like joe said, certainly not more than what hideki could bring in the DH role next year

    let the guy bat in the 7 or 8 hole, hit 285/365/460 with his 15 bombs and 90 rbis

    and for the love of god dont trade a package including hughes for 1 year of holliday ((or said package for holliday with big extension for that matter))

    • TomG

      Is the Matt Holliday’s splits are terrible meme getting out of control, or is it just me? Yeah, his numbers are better at home, everyone’s are going to be in that park, but his road numbers are pretty damn good as well. Good OBP, consistent through the year, good power. Hughes, on the other hand, is still an unknown quantity. I’d pull the trigger on this with an extension.

      • Slugger27

        id wanna see 1 year of him permanently out of coors field and in the AL east before i signed him to any extension… id imagine hed demand a pretty high salary, and for me theres just too many question marks

  • Mike Pop

    Holliday should be a Yankee once hes a FA tho

    • Joey H

      Agreed. Why waste prospects on future FA’s.

    • Reggie C.

      I can see it. There’s nobody in High-A , AA, or AAA that looks ready to take a corner OF spot. Of course i’m assuming that A-jax sticks at CF. Still, with Damon gone and Nady’s position on this team far from guaranteed, I think Holliday is a great fit.

  • Baseballnation

    I think esentially if the yankees were to agree to negotiating a deal with the Rockies for Holliday, it would have to come with the agreement that the Rockies and Holliday would be open to giving the Yankees a window of time to sign him to an extension before the deal is met. And further, I don’t think there’s much of a chance the yankees even mention of dealing Hughes in the deal, so considering this, I don’t think the Yankees and Rockies are logistically compatible trading partners at this time cause the Yankees don’t have what colorado might be interested in. Say they offer Austin Jackson/Kennedy/ and a third guy like Britton or Marquez…I can’t see Colorado too enticed with that

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

    Maybe we can leak to the press that we’re interested in trading for Hideki Matsui, thus driving up the price on Matsui so we can get more value for him when we trade him.

    Cashman: Hey, what can you give me or Matsui?
    Jack Zduriencik, Mariners GM: Probably nothing more than an A-baller.
    Cashman: Hmm, well, you know, the Yankees are interested in Matsui. They’d probably give me Austin Jackson for him.
    Jack Zduriencik: Oh, well, in that case, how about Brandon Morrow and Wladimir Balentien?
    Cashman: DEAL!

    http://ia.media-imdb.com/image.....SY301_.jpg

    • Mike Pop

      haha I wish we could get Morrow

    • Tim

      Lisa I want to buy your rock!

    • Jay CT

      Now THIS is funny shit. WELL played sir

  • JohnC

    I would think that since Matusi is coming off surgery, teams would want to see him play first before trading for him, so any Matsui trade wouldn’t happen until Spring training.

  • Joey H

    Well If we were to get holliday and O-dogg thats a righty and a a switch hitter to keep it balanced. We can also put Nady at first. These are my unorganized thoughts so just bare with me but yes, Odogg at second, nady at first and holliday in RF.

  • ko

    Seattle may be interested in Matsui because he’s a Japanese superstar. Part of their ownership is Japanese and they’ve got a history of signing Japanese players. Matsui is still a rock star over in Japan. Also, Holliday is a good ballplayer, but his stats are skewed because he plays in Colorado. I think most clubs look at Rockies players with some skepticism.

    • Mike Pop

      Only if we could get Brad Hawpe for Kennedy.. That would be great

      • pat

        Brad Hawpe’s got forearms like friggin swerpipes

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGI8swltOAM

        • Mike Pop

          Lol he does.. I think hes underrated but I dont look at ops and vorp and all those other things that you guys do just becuz i simply dont understand it as much.. I look at AVG Hrs RBis and obp.. Hawpe I like alot tho and i know he isnt available and idk whyd they look to thrade him

      • A.D.

        Hawpe was a worst statistical defender than Abreu last year

    • Baseballnation

      The skepticism might be true but I think people should understandthat Holliday is Bonafide too He’s not just some product of his park although his numbers are slightly better at home across the board.

      In terms of away performance:

      He still hit over .300
      He holds a good BABIP
      Good wOBA
      OPS treads near .900
      Fairly good Isop

      In short he’s definitely an upgrade over Abreu offensively…A Texeira/A-Rod/Holliday is a scary 3/4/5

    • Joey H

      Yeah that’s all shit because Seattle has some hefty contracts on their back. I doubt they would take Matsui because of this lovely “Japanese connection” unless we eat much of Matsui’s salary.

  • Mike Pop

    Fact of the matter is no matter how we or any other teams fans view our prospects/young players.. They still have value and teams are no doubt interested in themm.. Cashman said that hes got calls about Melky.. Now who knows if they were offering a bag of peanuts but our guys have more value then people think.. I think Melky can be a starting outfielder I know he killed his status this year but I think he could start somewhere maybe not in NY tho.. Dudes like 24 still young

    • Reggie C.

      Youth’s got nothing to do with whether you can play or not. Melky performed on another level of futility last year.

  • Baseballnation

    Matt Holliday’s 60.4 VORP…

  • B.George

    Would not do this trade at all…People are saying Hollidays home/road splits should be ignored but in reality they shouldnt…his career average is 70 points lower on the road and so is his OBP and his slugging is 180 points lower on the road…..and people are making it out like its going to be a Hughes for Holliday straight up…..we are easily going to have to give up 4 to 5 prospects to acquire him so Betances Ajax Cox Melancon Brackman Sanchez will probably be involved to……also if we can get someone who is a much better hitter, who has expierence in the AL east and we can get without giving someone up ala Manny Ramirez wouldnt that make more sense? And I know you guys are going to give the age shit as your excuse but you know what you are going to get with Manny if he comes here Holliday is a toss up.

    And to all you guys who think Hughes is worse then Victor Zambrano….have some friggin patience. Name me one pitcher other then Clemens and Doc Gooden who came into the league and totally dominated? Take a look at the Rays all those pitchers struggled when they came to the league and now they are good pitchers….so calm the shit and let Hughes grow as a major league pitcher and Hughes will be a top of the rotation starter.

  • parms

    what about a three team deal with seattle colorado and the yankees. yankees give matsui to seattle, seattle gives someone to colorado, the yankees in turn give less to colorado to get holliday. wouldnt this make the most sense out of this situation? sorry if someone already said that…

  • Mike Pop

    Burnett just opted out sorry fellas but hes as good as ours

  • ko

    Unclear to me what’s wrong with eating Matsui’s contract, especially if he’s a key piece in getting Holliday

  • Baseballnation

    The yankees technically can not afford to eat Matsui’s contract sign Sabathia/Teixeira/ Either Burnett/Lowe/Sheets…….And possibly take on a trade for Holliday

    • Stephen

      The Yankees really have no constraints other than morality, especially since they’ll be able to deduct the cost of the new stadium from the luxury tax bill, they have an almost limitless budget.

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  • Bill

    I know people aren’t crazy about Damon in CF, but if we acquired Holliday wouldn’t it make more sense to slide Damon to CF? Holliday defensively is one of the best LF’ers in the game and with Nady in RF we’d be upgrading there as Abreu was awful in RF. Damon’s arm may suck, but he still has the range to be an adequate CF. We obviously couldn’t make this move if we signed a defensively weak LF like Manny, Dunn, Burrell, but with Holliday it makes a lot more sense to me.

    Then you can keep Matsui as the primary DH or you trade him and rotate in guys like Posada, Damon, etc. at DH.

    The following lineup would be quite the spectacle:
    CF- Damon
    SS- Jeter
    1B- Teixeira
    3B- ARod
    LF- Holliday
    DH- Matsui
    RF- Nady
    2B- Cano
    C- Posada

    Although in order to do that we may have to skimp a little more on the pitching side (i.e. sign CC, Pettitte, and one less expensive pitcher maybe Garland?) and probably increase payroll over what we started with last year. I’d be on board though.