For those of you still hurting from losing Carlos Gonzalez, Joe Sheehan has a word of advice for you. Don't be. I think Sheehan is one of the smartest baseball journalists out there and he comes out in full favor of Billy Beane winning this deal with the Rockies. Sheehan essentially points out that C-Gon's numbers were never really that great in the minors any way except for a two-year stretch in 05-06. He actually says that he has no idea how Gonzalez wound up in the bigs with the numbers he had.
But my favorite part of the article is this (you'll have to be a BP subscriber to read the rest, sorry!):
For the A's, Holliday fits like a glove. In addition to getting him for a reasonable price, they slide a hitter into their lineup who does exactly what they need. The A's draw walks; that pretty much sums up their offensive skill set. They don't hit for average (last), they don't hit doubles (last), they don't hit triples (tenth). Even the walks they draw (fourth) don't lead to a high OBP (13th and not last, thanks to the Royals) because they hit so poorly. I lost track of the number of times they had two runners on with no one out and didn't score.
Now one bat will not completely change this equation. The A's need more than just Holliday if they really hope to compete in 2009, which is why I think that Beane will be pretty aggressive on the free agent market.
Nico and I talk on the phone about the A's quite a bit and something that he and I have said for the past two, maybe three years is that the A's don't seem to have any "hitters". By that we mean, not just a guy who knows how to work the zone and get on base, but someone who actually hits for a high average to take advantage of a lot of those walks the A's get. Holliday is exactly that and even if he does take a turn down because of park adjustments and moving to a better league, he should still be up close to a .300 average. Like Sheehan, I think it drastically helps the A's. I would still hope the A's can somehow lure Holliday into staying longer term, but my feeling is still one of extreme optimism after the deal, pending what else the A's decide to do this offseason.