Thursday, November 6, 2008

Matsui/Cano/Holliday rumor

The Hot Stove is a better place with Tim Dierkes on the prowl. Via MLBTradeRumors, Tim brings us this juicy Matsui/Cano/Holliday rumor from Yahoo's Tim Brown (got all that?):

One source mentioned a potential three-way deal that would send outfielder Hideki Matsui from the New York Yankees to the Seattle Mariners for a pitching prospect, perhaps Ryan Rowland-Smith. The Yankees would package the prospect with second baseman Robinson Cano and another young player to the Rockies for Matt Holliday.
It's no surprise the Yanks have a glut of OF/DH types. But to send Matsui (one year left on his contract) and Cano for Holliday just seems strange. I like Holliday an awful lot, even if his home/away splits are a bit daunting. He's still a top OF and would be a nice youthful addition (he'll be 29 on Opening Day). But the Yanks would then need to pounce on Orlando Hudson to fill the vacant 2B spot. Oh yeah, Holliday's a Boras client with an expiring contract at season's end. He's got some good power, though just 25 HR last year after hitting the mid-30's the two years prior and he certainly runs more than Matsui.

I like Matsui; he's quiet, professional, and seemingly a good guy to have around. He might be DH'ing more than he wants but if he has to play LF, he's capable. I understand the desire to thin the herd of OF types, maybe allowing some of the kids to get some PT. Trading him for another OF, though, does confuse me, even if it's for a talented guy like Holliday.

Maybe Holliday comes to NY, thrives and wants to stay. He still won't take a discount, not as a Boras disciple. Is that worth dealing Cano? Is the potential upgrade (Holliday-over-Matsui) worth losing Cano? One year window. I don't think so. Could the Yanks increase the offer to also land Atkins, who may be able to shift from 3B to 2B? I have no idea. Anyone closer to the Rockies than I am*?

* A co-worker's sister is married to Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. Maybe I could weasle an "interview"...

And even has Matsui listed as a reasonable "comparison" to Holliday. Again, for a one year swap, to jettison Cano as a cost of doing business, I am not sure this is the right move for this team.

Some quick data on Holliday's career Home/Away splits:
AB: 359
BA: .357
OBP: .423
OPS: 1.068
HR: 84
RBI: 307

AB: 339
BA: .280
OBP: .348
OPS: .803
HR: 44
RBI: 176

His 2008 Home/Away Splits were more even, though:
AB: 73
BA: .332
OBP: .413
OPS: .997
HR: 15
RBI: 59

AB: 66
BA: .308
OBP: .405
OPS: .892
HR: 10
RBI: 29

UPDATE (11/6/08, 10:28am): Thanks to Ken Davidoff for agreeing with me here:
And there have been rumors of a three-way trade in which the Yankees gave up Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano and wound up with Matt Holliday, with the Mariners also involved. No. The Yankees would trade Cano in the right deal, but the right deal isn't a one-year rental of Holliday.

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