Big League Stew - MLB

As we wait for the various parts of the Matt Holliday-to-the-A's deal to visit the doctor and do their best Mike Singletary impressions, here's a look at some initial reactions to the trade:

Mark Kiszla, Denver Post: "For a franchise that prides itself on high character and a low payroll, the Rockies again proved in this deal it is far easier to be cheap than classy. And how frugal was it to spend all the goodwill of a World Series appearance like there's no tomorrow? A year and an unlucky 13 days past that last painful out against the Boston Red Sox, all the promise of Generation R is wasted, but owners Charlie and Dick Monfort are still here."

Dave Krieger, Rocky Mountain News: "The Rocks' biggest need is starting pitching. I hoped they would get a more established starter than young left-hander Greg Smith in exchange for Holliday. If Smith is the extent of the upgrade to the starting staff by the time pitchers and catchers report to Tucson in February, I will be disappointed. But because the Rocks also have Garrett Atkins and Willy Taveras on the trading block this winter, they could still come away with more help for the pitching staff. In any case, Gonzalez becomes the key to the Holliday deal."

David Ohno, Purple Row: "Overall, I consider this trade a big improvement on the Cardinals' package. Though the talent may not have the same track record, all three pieces fill a distinct hole, and the Rockies are afforded even more payroll flexibility to pursue improvements in any number of positions. Keeping Street could not only impact the bullpen, but also uphold the value of the two first round picks lost in dealing Holliday before his sixth season. The Oakland package offers more upside, long term potential, financial savings, and 'scheme fits.' The success of the trade ultimately hinges on Gonzalez, but banking on five tool, highly regarded talent is the type of risk this team needs to take, and for this O'Dowd deserves much credit."

Ray Ratto, SF Chronicle: Even though there are rumors that the A's will broaden their 2009 payroll beyond the subsistence level, it is hard to imagine that Holliday is more than a one-year rental at best, and maybe even trade-deadline bait. It is almost impossible to conceive that Beane and Boras could agree on a longer-term deal that would net Holliday (and Boras) maximum dollars, especially given that the A's are no more likely to contend in 2009 than they were in 2008.

Blez, Athletics Nation: I love the trade. (Carlos) Gonzalez might turn into the second coming of Carlos Beltran, but the A's could not go through another 162-game season with that offense. It just wasn't going to work. I'm expecting more moves towards the A's being competitive in 2009 on the heels of this, whether that means (Rafael) Furcal or (Adam) Dunn or someone else, I'm not sure, but I don't think the A's are done. They're sending a message that they think they can be competitive sooner rather than later, otherwise, why do the deal in the first place unless you don't really think that Gonzalez is all he was supposed to be? For once it's nice to have our team doing the acquiring, isn't it?

Tyler Kepner, New York Times: "It takes a lot for Tom Holliday, who has spent a lifetime in baseball, to become excited at a game. But in July, when his son Matt hit a home run at Yankee Stadium in the All-Star Game, Tom got up from his seat and rejoiced. Deep down, he said, he hoped his son would play in Yankees pinstripes soon.

"'If someone would have called me today and said Matt had gotten traded to the Yankees, I'd have been hunting for a place to celebrate,' Tom Holliday, the associate head baseball coach at North Carolina State, said in a telephone interview."

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