The Matt Holliday era in Oakland is over. OK so Matt Holliday wasn't exactly Ryan Langerhans. Or Michael Barrett in terms of his A's career. But it was pretty damn short.
But you have to love this deal if you're an A's fan. Brett Wallace is considered one of the best prospects in baseball, SB Nation's own John Sickels giving him an A- for a rating (and Sickels is notoriously stingy with his grades). The only knock on Wallace appear to be his defense, but almost everyone seems to think he's going to be a true cornerstone offensive player and sooner rather than later.
I'm guessing the more casual A's fans (are there any of those left?) might not understand why the A's would deal Holliday rather than trying to sign a bat like his to a long-term deal, I think this is a deal that makes a ton of sense for the A's because they're filling a desperate hole at the hot corner. And I think you can safely assume that Eric Chavez is likely done for good. So it took a lot of shuffling of assets (Carlos Gonzalez, Huston Street and now Holliday) but the A's finally have what seems like a bona fide long-term answer for their woes on the left-side of the infield. Or at least half of the problem on that side. Now there's always the chance that Wallace might not work out, but I'm still pretty thrilled to be getting a player who appears like as much of a sure thing as you can get in a prospect. And it also gives the A's the opportunity to finally figure out what they actually have in their outfield. Like is Travis Buck for real or was his rookie year a fluke? Will Aaron Cunningham take another step forward?
Now one top prospect doesn't make the A's contenders, but it moves more in line with the young team progressing as they should. The key here is cost control as well. The A's weren't ready to have a guy like Holliday around for a while. And this way they're moving towards that great, young, cost-controlled team that they started building towards a couple of years ago. They clearly have the pitching and now they've addressed one part of the left side of the infield conundrum. They may still address the shortstop position with Orlando Cabrera being dealt as well, but it's been such a question mark for the A's for so long with the will he or won't he Eric Chavez question that it's nice to feel some great hope there.
This is a great deal for the A's and I'm excited to see Wallace don the green and gold.