Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Matt Holliday to the A's

As a baseball fan, you have to admire what the Oakland A's have been able to do in the last decade. They have loaded up on talent, and then reloaded, and now appear to be reloading once again to be a contender. In acquiring Matt Holliday, the A's pick up one of the games best pure hitters, in the final season of his arbitration years. This may be a risky move, but as many will point out, the A's will be well compensated with Holliday's offensive production for at least one season and if they were to lose him, he would give the A's two compensation draft picks. With plenty of money to spend this offseason, I doubt that the A's stop here as they look to build that team back to strike fear into the American League once again. With no real outstanding player in their lineup last season, the A's have been talking about bringing back Jason Giambi, though adding another contact heavy hitter would be the most beneficial to a team that hit just .242 in 2008. I argue that players like Bobby Abreu or Rafael Furcal would make a lot of sense for the A's as opposed to a low contact power guy in Jason Giambi. With Abreu and Furcal, the lineup would project to look something like this:

Ryan Sweeney, CF
Rafael Furcal, SS
Matt Holliday, LF
Jack Cust, DH
Bobby Abreu, RF
Eric Chavez, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Daric Barton, 1B
Mark Ellis, 2B

While the order does tail off after Abreu, the first five hitters are going to get on base and drive each other in. With the expected development of Suzuki and Barton, the bottom of the order could be looking a lot different by mid-July as well. Abreu is the type of hitter that Beane has liked for so long -- he gets on base and will do a little bit of everything for Bob Geren and potentially get some reps at first-base if Barton or Travis Buck emerge as the talented hitters their 2007 seasons indicated. Furcal makes sense because he also can get on base and create some offense with his speed on the bases and more importantly, it gets Bobby Crosby's bat out of the lineup. Either way, the A's have already become the most intriguing team of the offseason after the big move to acquire Matt Holliday. With their talented young pitching, the addition of a couple veteran bats and potentially a back end of the bullpen reliever, the A's already project to be a contender in 2009.

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