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  1. While this makes sense for both teams (Oakland adds yet another good, cost controlled young guy and St. Louis adds a much needed bat in exchange for a guy that probably wouldn’t be getting much playing time there anyway), I also have this question:

    What does Oakland do with Daric Barton? Call me crazy for not being willing to write off a 23 year old with a .261/.386/.458 line in AAA in 2009 (albeit in the PCL). It’s still good for 15th in the PCL in OBP and 34th in SLG. Not exactly a future MLB beast line, but seems like he’ll be serviceable after a little more seasoning.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 9:08 am

  2. The new Baseball America list seems not to include players that still are under the playing time threshold for being considered a rookie (ie Tommy Hansen, Mat Weiters, ect). Shouldn’t that be taken into account when valuing Wallace?

    Comment by Davidceisen — July 24, 2009 @ 9:14 am

  3. Everyone always talks about the draft pick compensation, but do you really think a team will offer arbitration? Seems with the recent prices of free agent corner outfielders, Holliday would most assuredly accept arbitration and be due for a nice raise from his $13.5 million he got this season….

    Anywho, as a Cub fan, this scares me.

    Comment by Boomer — July 24, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  4. yeah, that’s serviceable if Barton is putting up that line as a second baseman or a catcher.

    Comment by Richie Abernathy — July 24, 2009 @ 9:23 am

  5. i think the yankees would gladly pay for holliday…matsui is done, damon is old, and nady is a FA

    if the sox can’t work out something with Bay, they may get in on it as well

    holliday is going to get paid this offseason, and boras knows it

    Comment by VolsnCards5 — July 24, 2009 @ 9:32 am

  6. Ryan Howard went .304/.374/.514 in A+ ball as a 23 year old. I can’t be the only person who hasn’t written off Barton.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 9:37 am

  7. The Youkillis-Wallace comparison is way off base, Wallace has an average at best walk rate. Youkilis had a BB rates in the 15-20% range throughout his minor league career. Wallace has not neared that. With his stocky frame and high average/low power numbers, he seems like more of a Pablo Sandoval/BIlly Butler clone.

    Still a decent enough rake for the A’s, but it doesn’t stand when analyzed via the transitive property of trading. In other words, I’d rather see what I could get out of Carlos Gonzalez (sick athlete, #22 on last year’s BA list) than Brett Wallace. Also, for all the talk about GOnzalez’s plate discipline, it has actually been comparable to Wallace’s (in terms of walk rate) over each player’s minor league career.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 24, 2009 @ 9:39 am

  8. Exactly, it also very notably does not mention Carlos Gonzalez anywhere, which leads me to believe that he is ineligible for the list.

    Unless his stock has fallen that much…which I do not see how it would.

    As far as I can tell it only includes players who have yet to appear in the ML.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 24, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  9. I’d say the scouting reports on Ryan Howard at 23 and Daric Barton are remarkably different when trying to project future power output. I doubt that Barton will top Howard’s new record of fastest to 200 MLB homeruns. Sorry for that. Especially since I know your point is that he’s young and sometimes it takes time to develop. I’m just not sure Barton’s swing profiles for enough power if he is a first baseman. If that’s the case, he’d have to hit for contact like Mark Grace and John Olerud (with their fielding abilities as well) to be an impact player at that position. I personally always believed that Barton’s prospect status was inflated because he was a catcher with great contact skills with a hope of future power. If he can’t catch and the power doesn’t develop and the BABIP falls at higher levels, what you may be left with is a poor man’s Billy Butler.

    Comment by Richie Abernathy — July 24, 2009 @ 9:42 am

  10. Thus the “somewhat of a” phrasing. There’s just not a great comparison I could come up with for Wallace. He’s not the Greek God of Walks, maybe the Scottish God of Hit By Pitches.

    Comment by Erik Manning — July 24, 2009 @ 9:43 am

  11. You seem to be overlooking the increased incremental value of wins for teams in a playoff race. Eight million hugely understates the amount Holliday is worth to a team a half-game up in their division.

    Comment by Evan — July 24, 2009 @ 9:45 am

  12. Obviously the difference is that Youkillis is gene doping…


    Comment by Davidceisen — July 24, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  13. But he’s still no guarantee to vault them into October.

    Say Holliday increases STL’s playoff odds by 15%, which seems reasonable. A playoff appearance, according to Jonah Keri is worth about $25M, back when BBTN was published. So figuring the increased playoff odds plus some inflation, Holliday’s worth another $4M in extra value. Still a big gap. $25M is still > $12M

    Comment by Erik Manning — July 24, 2009 @ 9:52 am

  14. HT, vivaelpujols over at VEB’s discussion thread of this same topic

    Comment by Erik Manning — July 24, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  15. I was thinking more on the lines of Adam LaRoche. Good guy to give $2,000,000 to when you need a one year fix at 1B.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 9:55 am

  16. Normally, I’d agree with the rationale on a pending free agent OF accepting arbitration, but could we realistically expect Holliday to accept arbitration with the Cardinals if he was traded there?

    After all, the Yankees and Red Sox are both probably going to be pursuing him, as they’ll both have OF vacancies at season’s end–admittedly, the Red Sox are negotiating with Bay, but they could scrap that plan and go after Holliday. And a big pay day seems likely with either of those 2 teams–even in light of the new adjusted economic expectations most teams face. It didn’t stop the Yankees from their spending spree this past offsesaon, after all.

    Comment by Jim — July 24, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  17. I was thinking more along the lines of Lyle Overbay, but I’ll give you LaRoche, and yes, you’re not paying him silver slugger first baseman money, either.

    Comment by Richie Abernathy — July 24, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  18. But yeah, I agree, I’m just arguing that Barton still serves value to the Oakland franchise.

    So I assume if this trade happens, Barton’s probably getting shipped off, too. Not sure what kind of hitter a team can get for a 1B with a fairly regular career projection, though.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 9:57 am

  19. IIRC, Matsui, Damon, and Nady will *all* be free agents at season’s end–leaving only Nick Swisher and the Cabrera/Gardner combo left in the OF(with Austin Jackson waiting in the wings, providing he isn’t traded first.)

    Comment by Jim — July 24, 2009 @ 10:00 am

  20. Isn’t Wallace also worth less than whatever his objective market value is since the Cardinals have Pujols? Other teams should be aware that Wallace does not have an MLB future in STL and thus penalize the Cardinals by discounting his value.

    Whatever percentage he’d be discounted still wouldn’t make up the difference in projected values abouve, but I’d argue Wallace has a lower expected value to the Cards due to Pujols’ presence on the roster and his likely inability to see the field.

    Comment by JH — July 24, 2009 @ 10:08 am

  21. Enough with the fat jokes already. It’s quite unprofessional.

    Comment by Greg — July 24, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  22. A little touchy? Pointing out a professional athlete’s physical condition is very relevant to the discussion at hand.

    Comment by Davidceisen — July 24, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  23. Also, I think you need to consider which value you are more “sure” of. In other words, you know from his past performance that Holliday is a good bet to give you 12M in value, but can you trust the 25M value for Wallace? This number appears to be somewhat hafhazardly applied to a category of players (11-25 ranked prospects), whos eventual ML level performances tend to vary greatly.

    That, coupled with the fact that the latest BA list seems to apply to a specific subset of prospects (those with no games/innings of ML experience), make me thing that you are jumping the gun when you tack a 25 mil. price tag on Brett Wallace.

    I am still looking through the two links to find out more about this 25M number (how it is determined, etc.), but the idea that a player of Brett Wallace’s caliber (based on his modest minor league performance so far) could be worth nearly two times as much as a proven ML commodity like Matt Holliday (even with the contract) is very, very counterintutitive.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 24, 2009 @ 10:18 am

  24. Carlos Gonzalez got about half a season’s worth of PAs in Oakland last year. He wasn’t eligible for prospect lists at the beginning of the season.

    Comment by BX — July 24, 2009 @ 10:20 am

  25. And you have to reckon that the Mets or Giants are in on Holliday this offseason, and both those teams are more spend-heavy.

    No reason for Holliday to accept arbitration IMO.

    Comment by BX — July 24, 2009 @ 10:21 am

  26. Wrighteous- I assume that’s factored into the 25MM in value assigned to top 25 hitting prospects by Victor Wang, the bust risk.

    Correct me if I’m wrong though. That’s what I got out of looking at the stuff.

    Comment by BX — July 24, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  27. Sure there are some variations of the outcome, but the $25M considers the possibility he becomes Drew Henson or Miguel Cabrera.

    Comment by Erik Manning — July 24, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  28. The fact remains that Wallace is never, and never was, going to play in St Louis. A lot like Matt LaPorte, St Louis drafted him for the express purpose of trading him. He’s a commodity, and as such he’s not really worth anything at all to St Louis if he can’t be moved for a piece that ends up on the major league roster, much less 25 million. If that’s the case, and getting into the playoffs is the ultimate goal, then what better deal to make then getting Holliday? Who else is available that fulfills the need, and is on a team that needs Wallace?

    Getting to the playoffs is worth a lot more than 25 million. It makes your team more attractive to free agents, it increases the value of divergent streams of revenue (T shirts, TV ect), and solidifies ticket sales in a slow market for years into the future. Great deal for St Louis if they can pull it off.

    Comment by Edwin Nelson — July 24, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  29. Someone got laughed at in the McDonald’s line this morning.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  30. Excuse me Matt LaPorta

    Comment by Edwin Nelson — July 24, 2009 @ 10:32 am

  31. I agree. A team with a “good” reputation instantly has to pay less for free agents, gets more TV coverage, and instant fan recognition and revenue. They end up not paying Jose Guillen $24,000,000, for example.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  32. Seriously, how can two teams be geographically so close and functionally so far apart?

    Comment by Edwin Nelson — July 24, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  33. According to ESPN’s Tim Kurkjan, the deal is close. These are the days that I love Billy Beane.

    Comment by BX — July 24, 2009 @ 10:39 am

  34. Not only did they get Wallace, but they got two other decent prospects

    Comment by Davidceisen — July 24, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  35. It depends on how the deal fleshes out, but the core of the transactions in the end is Wallace, for CarGo and Street, while at the same time showing the As fans that the team will take chances to try and go for a division title when possible. Beane is the master.

    Comment by Edwin Nelson — July 24, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  36. I looked into it further and understand it a bit better now. The value of a top 11-25 prospect is an expected value and it does factor in the chance of that prospect being a bust. Interestingly, 21.4% of the top 11-25 hitters in Wang’s study ended up being a bust, and 50% ended up being merely a “contributor.”

    So perhaps in the long run, if you repeatedly traded Matt HOlliday for a top 11-25 prospect you would end up with a return of 25-8 = 17 million per trade….but I am not sure why would let the long run return on a trade like this dictate what we think of it, without evaluting it primarily based on the specific skill sets of each player.

    Simply put, Wallace is a corner infield prospect who I am assuming (based purely on his phsyique) is a below average fielder who has thus far shown very poor power and average at best plate discipline in the minors. I would do this deal in a second if I were the Cards.

    I should add that Wang applied his analysis to the JOhan trade from last offseason, and found a huge surplus in favor of the Twins. We all know how that trade worked out. To me, the results of his study (which only covers ten years of baseball america prospect lists) appear to inflate the true value of prospects.

    One reason might be the fact that “bust” players are often pulled off the major league roster before they chance to contribute the full extent of their negative Win Shares Above Average per year to their teams. Also, perhaps “contributors” benefit from favorable platoons which inflates their WSAB artificially.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 24, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  37. I think someone should post an article on Fangraphs about how the Free Agent compensation arena is going to change with the dwindling economy. Type A free agents aren’t going to get offered arbitration based on the lack of big money deals out there (ie. no compensatory picks). Also, teams aren’t going to give away draft picks as readily and hesitate to sign second and third tier free agents. We saw this last year a little when the Diamondbacks didn’t offer arbitration to Dunn. Knowing he might accept and get $10 mil+ with arbitration.

    Comment by Gaupo — July 24, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  38. Erik,

    If both the 25 millions and 8-12 millions are expected values, then that is the right metric for comparison only if the valuation function is risk-neutral. If it is risk averse, then certainty-equivalence is the right criteria.

    In any event, it would be more insightful if the confidence intervals are also posted for each number alongside the averages. 25 millions may look much larger than 8-12, but they may not be statistically different from each other.

    Comment by Sam — July 24, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

  39. According to ESPN, the deal is done.

    Holliday for Wallace, OF Shane Patterson, and SP Clayton Mortensen. Anyone have any insights on the Patterson or Mortensen?

    Comment by Sammy — July 24, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  40. Patterson is organizational filler. Mortensen could be a 5th starter/long relief guy. He has a good low 90s sinking fastball/change combo but his command has been shaky since he left low A and he has a slider that can only be generously described as useful. Still, a backend option in the bullpen and a serious bat for a guy you couldn’t sign? Great deal. Cards win the central hands down, but both teams get better.

    Comment by Edwin Nelson — July 24, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

  41. Mortensen was the Card’s 6th best prospect according to BA, and Patterson was the Card’s second round pick last year. Patterson doesn’t have any power, but he seems to get on base and have good speed. Not bad for thrown ins.

    Comment by Davidceisen — July 24, 2009 @ 1:02 pm

  42. amazing how everyone acts like they know the guy but don’t even call him by the right name. Its Shane Peterson.

    Comment by rm — July 24, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  43. It seems to me people forget that it’s about WINNING. Sure the A’s seem to get some great prospects and then trade them, but they WIN NOTHING. If the Cardinals win this year, how could this be viewed as a bad trade?

    Let’s also not forget about their history of keeping players like Holliday (McGwire, Rolen). They will have a very good shot to re-sign him if they choose that route.

    They are now clearly the favorites in their division, and unless the Phil’s get Halladay, I think they have a legit shot to come out of the NL.

    Comment by Rob — July 24, 2009 @ 2:26 pm

  44. Holliday is a better rounded player than the guys who hit the market last offseason. His fielding and baserunning are both good, which will help when the time comes for teams to pay for his bat.

    I would also normally be skeptical about the safety of arbitration, but in this case, I think the Cardinals would be fine with keeping him and paying arbitration in the case that he accepts anyway, so I doubt it will be an issue.

    Comment by Kincaid — July 24, 2009 @ 2:34 pm

  45. That the average top-25 prospect is worth $25 million does not mean that Wallace is – that’s the ecological fallacy talking. He may or may not be. I think he’s a good hitting prospect, but let’s be clear that he’s not in the Wieters class. Further, Keith Law guesstimated Holliday was worth 3 second-half wins, which is significant in such a lousy division, as it easily makes StL the favorites; thusly you have to consider the potential added revenue associated with making the playoffs and having a Series shot with a healthy Carpenter.

    Given that these teams have CLEARLY different goals in mind right now, I prefer Law’s take on the trade to this one – I’d say “win-win”.

    Comment by Eric/OR — July 24, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  46. Cards get better without losing anyone with a major future in their organization, A’s win by acquiring players including a virtual MLB lock rather than going into Type A land and crapshooting on a few picks.

    Sounds good to me.

    Comment by Joe R — July 24, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

  47. I agree, win-win. Beane gets what he wants and the Cards get what they want- protection for Pujols and an additonal bat for the last 2 months + playoffs. It didn’t look like Wallace was gonna play in StL anyways.

    Comment by Jason T — July 24, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

  48. No really?

    Everyone agrees that the Cards should be willing to trade their prospects at this point, but the question is and was: Is Holliday the best you can get for Wallace? Maybe it was. I don’t think they are better than the Phillies at this point. And they certainly aren’t better than the Dodgers. Nor would I necessarily say they are obviously better than San Fran or Colorado.

    They still are weak at SS and 2nd.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 24, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

  49. Are you serious? Wallace should’ve been the starting third baseman from Day 1 this year and would’ve saved a lot of the Joe Thurston/Brian Barden pain. Mortensen could take over a rotation job as soon as next year and Peterson has a very high ceiling. This has EPIC FAILURE written all over it.

    Comment by Will — July 24, 2009 @ 3:03 pm

  50. You can’t afford an all star every position. As long as the defence up the middle is solid, and no I haven’t checked and it may be useless, but then they can afford some lesser bats.

    Comment by Slick — July 24, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  51. This looks like a desperate move from the Cardinals perspective. It’s understandable considering the tight division race and the possible compensatory picks for Holliday if it doesn’t work out and he isn’t resigned. In that sense they aren’t losing much and thats one way to look at things. However, it just underscores their front offices inability to build the correct team prior to the season starting. Sure, the offense is now improved with the additions of DeRosa and Holliday and the defense with Lugo. But, what about the bullpen and the starters? Other than an often injured Carpenter their starting rotation isn’t dominant enough to take them into the world series. Their entire rotation other than Carpenter has at least a 1.00 increase in ERA when playing away from Busch Stadium.

    I don’t think the point is whether Peterson, Wallace & Mortensen were going to have good careers or careers at all in STL. The point is that you could have gotten more pieces than just one OF bat for that package of proespects. If the Cardinals acquired Holliday I was expecting some to the tune of Rasmus and a mid level pitching prospect. On top of everything else the question has to be asked of how much this really improves their team and if this deal (being the big splash) gets your team into the world series.

    I don’t really blame Oakland as they essentially traded Street & CarGo for Holliday to try and make a run this year – it didn’t work. Instead of crapshooting on compensatory picks he got known commodities. It’s pure brilliance and it’s why he does more with less than any other GM in baseball … only Friedman has done a better job of cultivating and acquiring talent than Beane.

    I would consider this a huge WIN for Oakland and a questionable move done out of desperation for STL. I really think they would have been better off acquiring someone like Capps or Bell for help out of then pen than to drain the farm system for a rental of a Matt Holliday who is in decline and who’s numbers were greatly inflated playing in Colorado. This was a really dumb move by STL and will cost them dearly now and in the future.

    Comment by Jay5ive — July 24, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  52. To better illustrate the point – Atlanta got Nate McClouth who is equal if not better than Holliday without emptying the farm system. This is little more than a desperate move by STL that will haunt them for the next 5 years.

    Comment by Jay5ive — July 24, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

  53. What’s all the talk about his power? He’s almost 23 and though I’ve never seen for myself, judging from all the fat jokes, it seems his body has already filled out. Forgive my ignorance — do players with a .150 ISO in the minors often turn into big power hitters in the majors?

    Comment by Matt — July 24, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

  54. Please, enough with the Billy Beane hyperbole. At the end of the day he traded cargo and street for a first baseman who in AAA has 6 homers in 200 ABs and two mediocre prospects.

    Comment by Wrighteous — July 24, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  55. “To better illustrate the point – Atlanta got Nate McClouth who is equal if not better than Holliday without emptying the farm system.”

    I would love to see the convoluted logic that leads one to think Nate McLouth is “equal if not better than Holliday.”

    Comment by Dan — July 24, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  56. Yeah, that’s crazy. McLouth is 3-3.5 win/year player at best. With Holliday you’re getting close to that for the rest of this season alone.

    Comment by Matt — July 24, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

  57. Well Kevin Youkilis never had a slugging % above .500 in the minors until 2005, and there is this Hanley Ramirez guy who slugged .385 at AA in his last year in Portland. Sometimes you have to trust the scouts and they say good average, great patience, some power.

    Comment by Ed Nelson — July 24, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  58. Erik, should this math be considered in the equation?
    The added revenue from making the playoffs.
    The extrea season ticket sales from being a successful team.

    Comment by D Wrek — July 24, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  59. For all intents and purposes McClouth and Holliday have comparable numbers this season. The only difference is that McClouth was acquired for a bag of beans and Holliday was acquired for a Kings ransom.

    I’m not arguing who has the better pedigree & power – I’m saying getting a guy like Mclouth for next to nothing but can have a similar statistical impact on a team (better defense, good speed and power) makes me say Mclouth is a better value.

    Hollidays career splits prove that outside of Coors field he has been something similar to Abreu the last few years. He will be around the 100 R/ 20 HR / 100 RBI / 20 SB / .300 AVG / .850 OPS numbers for the season unless he has a huge power surge. At this point he isn’t on pace for numbers that good.

    2004 – (Colorado)
    Home – 10 HR / .338 BA / 1.009 OPS
    Road – 4 /.240/.654
    2005 –
    Home- 12/.357/1.002
    Road – 7/.256/.729
    Home – 22/.373/1.132
    Road – 12/.280/.819
    Home – 25/.376/1.157
    Road – 11/.301/.860
    2008 –
    Home – 15/.332/.997
    Road – 10/.308/.892
    2009 – (Oakland)
    Home – 7/.286/.877
    Road – 4/.287/.788

    I think St.Louis would have been better served getting a few players out of that pool of prospects. One of those players should have been help for the bullpen late in the game. They have options because De Rosa could have slid into that corner outfield position. Get a guy like Aubrey Huff from Baltimore for much less and then trade a guy like wallace for someone like Heath Bell. Felipe Lopez was also just acquired by MIL and would have been a perfect STL addition because of his defensive capabilities.

    They should have gotten more than just Holliday because they need more than another hitter. Maybe they make another deal before next week for bullpen depth. The type of trade they made was the type of deal I would expect for Halladay not Holliday. I think they got hosed.

    Comment by Jay5ive — July 25, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  60. So his last year in the NL, he had a 900 road OPS. If Holliday hits .310/.390/.510 the rest of the year with + defense, that’s an enormous upgrade over the sub-replacement level options the Cards have been running out in LF all year.

    Peterson is organizational filler for the Cards; won’t hit enough to play a corner and even if he ends up being able to play CF, there’s this guy named Rasmus out there who’s 22.

    Mortensen is tougher to give up if only because he’s a cheap potential 5th starter for the next couple of years.

    Comment by John H — July 25, 2009 @ 9:01 am

  61. I guess my question was where’s it going to come from? Hanley was still a skinny kid when they promoted him. This guy is already 23 and big bodied.

    Comment by Matt — July 26, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  62. Never seen him play, but all indicators say he has no staying power @ 3B and that he’ll be a 1B/DH type moving forward. Probably still a better option than Thurston, but I think the corpse of Judy Johnson is a better option than Thurston, too.

    Comment by Joe R — July 26, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

  63. Because a 240 PA sample size at age 22 is a perfect, awesome way to judge a player.

    Comment by Joe R — July 26, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  64. McLouth is awful defensively and is actually very similar to Holliday speed-wise. Matt Holliday is a five-tool player, Nate McLouth is not.

    Comment by Chris — July 26, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  65. holliday=god, lol.

    Comment by Sean — August 1, 2009 @ 9:43 pm

  66. What do you think about the trade now blogger guy? Holliday is a BEAST.

    Comment by Dylan — August 7, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

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