Friday, November 7, 2008

need to take a Holliday

All other things equal, my question upon hearing the trade rumors surrounding Ryan Ludwick and Matt Holliday is this: 

What am I missing?

Luddy came from basically nowhere, turned around an injury-ridden career to make a name for himself last season, and was even mentioned once or twice as a possible MVP candidate. He hit well (although he also struck-out quite a bit), he played a mean right field (and left and center when needed), and he is far from expensive. He was a huge part of the reason that the Cardinals competed when no one gave them half a chance going into the season. 

Now here's where I may lose you. I am fairly excited about the possibility of this trade going through. Matt Holliday is good, and he's a bargain for what we'd be getting. He's a big name, which can mean as much as anything. And he's ready to get out of Colorado which means he's looking for a home, not just a change of scenery. He's younger than Ryan, has (obviously) steadier career numbers than Ryan, and (forgive me) is better-looking than Ryan. 

Heck, I say give the Rox Ludwick and Rasmus if that's what it takes. 

The reason I'm confused is that the Cardinals are not known for this kind of aggressive-ish move, especially when it would cost them money and result in a one-year deal where they might have had three or four. The Cardinals are known for their wait and see, slow and steady attitude toward negotiations. 

We don't flex our spending muscles the way some teams do. 

We don't gut our farm system for instant gratification. 

We are cautious shoppers. 

We nurture our young talent so that we can reap benefits in the years to come. 

We shy away from free agents in favor of home-grown players. 

We don't settle for less, we strive for greatness. We just refuse to do it at the expense of the future. At least, that's what I've been used to. To be honest, John Mozeliak seems to be changing things up a bit. Not a complete overhaul, just some tweaking. The Kyle Lohse deal, while late-coming, was a statement. It said, "we're not going to be afraid to do what we need to do to build a winning team." 

The Holliday deal would make an even stronger statement. It would say, "we're not afraid to trade our commodities to make an impact." Beyond the obvious help he would bring at the plate, signing Matt Holliday would show the players, the fans, and the rest of baseball that the Redbirds are no longer going to roll over while the Cubs and Brewers take what was once a mediocre division and run past us to the finish line. 

It would show the world that we are serious about competing. 

One thing, #5 is already taken. Matt would have to choose another. Somehow I don't see this as a deal breaker.