Reid Fischer's World of Rants

Looking at the sports world through orange colored glasses

Unfortunate Reality Hits the Rockies

Posted by mizzou1028 on November 10, 2008

So apparently the Rockies have traded Matt Holliday.  I can’t really say I’m surprised frankly considering Holliday is represented by Scott Boras, who to put it kindly is extremely greedy.  Boras is notorious for getting monster deals for his clients (see Alex Rodriguez, he of the 10 year $275 million deal).  I’m sure Holliday has his reasons for not wanting to re-sign with the Rockies.  He says he wants to be somewhere where he has a consistent chance to make the World Series every year, and frankly it’s hard to argue that Colorado fits with that ideal.  There are reports of a rift with ownership considering the teams willingness to win and upgrade the roster, which is very possible considering the Monforts weren’t exactly active in the free agent market even after making the World Series.  If those are Holiday’s reasons for not accepting an extension with the Rockies and essentially forcing a trade, that’s one thing.  Of course it’s frustrating, but you can’t blame a player for not wanting to be somewhere where winning is a top priority. 

Now, if this is indeed about nothing other than money, than it impossible to keep any respect for either side.  If it is true that Holliday turned down an $85 million extension before last season, than I say good riddance.  Seriously, what can you do with $160 million that you can’t do with $85 million, short of buying a hundred cars and three extra mansions and who knows what else?  Maybe I just don’t understand it because I’ve never known what it’s like to have that kind of money, but I say if $100 million isn’t enough for you, perhaps you ought to work a real job for a year to better learn to appreciate the opportunity you have.  Maybe it’s just me.   I obviously can’t say for sure what Holliday’s motives are for not wanting to stay in Colorado, and I don’t want to throw him under the bus based on speculation, but it seems like it is with most Boras clients that it really is a money issue regardless of what else comes out of the player’s mouth.

I personally believe that the unsettled nature of the Holliday contract negotiations had to have an adverse effect on the team’s performance last season.  The ownership and players alike may say otherwise, but how could it not have had an effect?   If nothing else, there was a notable decline in Holliday’s numbers last season (.321 average down from .340 the previous year, home run decline to 25 from 36, and RBIs were down from 137 to 88).  To be fair, Holliday did miss two weeks in May due to injury, but even factoring that in, that’s a noticeable decrease in production.  Even considering his two week injury, that type of decline in production doesn’t seem to merit the $20 million offer he is seeking.  Even given all that, it is a shame that the relationship between Holliday and the Rockies went south so quickly that the Rockies felt forced to deal him even with a year to go before he hit free agency. 

It seems clear that Rockies ownership is in a pickle here because they seem to have made Holliday the best offer they could afford.  His unwillingness to accept their offer means they are now getting roughly 30 cents on the dollar in the deal.  While reports vary on what exactly the Rockies will get in return, the one consistent piece seems to be pitcher Greg Smith, he of a 7-16 record last season and a 4.16 ERA.  Smith finished third in the AL in walks allowed with 87, which is not a good stat.  The 16 losses may not be a good indicator of his ability because the A’s weren’t a good team last year, but walking guys is never a good thing.  If this is the best the Rockies can hope for in return for Holliday, than there is no way they can make a legitimate argument they are a better team for trading Holliday.  Whoever’s fault it is, it is still frustrating to know that already the Rockies are behind the eight ball in the NL West race and spring training is still three months away.

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