The A's are in discussions with the Cardinals about a deal that would send star outfielder Matt Holliday to Oakland. The Tigers are another team that's been a serious pursuer of Holliday, but the Cardinals are considered the heavy favorite right now, league sources said. One league source said he thinks the chances of a trade with the Cardinals are "pretty good." Top third base prospect Brett Wallace would likely go to Oakland in a Holliday deal.
Wallace is seen as one of baseball's best hitting prospects, but some executives question whether he can remain at third base, so he may be a better fit for an American League team. One NL executive said he sees Wallace as a first baseman, and of course, the Cardinals already have arguably baseball's best player Albert Pujols at first base. "He's not a third baseman, but he can really hit,'' the exec said.
Holliday makes $13.5 million this year, and it's possible that the Cardinals will want money back to offset either Holliday's salary or the $1.8 million signing bonus paid to Wallace only a year ago.
Holliday, who's hitting .287 with 11 home runs and 57 RBIS, is a free agent at year's end, making him a prime candidate to be traded. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is thought to be a big supporter of Holliday, who was pursued in the winter by St. Louis.
The A's will want to get a significant return since they'd likely receive two drafts choices if they lost Holliday as a free agent. ESPN reported the chances for a trade of Holliday to the Cardinals as "50-50.''