Most pundits think it's almost a given he will be traded this offseason. He is signed through 2009, and then becomes a free agent who will almost certainly get a monster contract- $100MM at a minimum. Here's why I think he might be playing LF for the Cincinnati Reds very soon.
This move has Jocketty written all over it- it's his trademark. He did it three times in St. Louis with Mark McGwire, Jim Edmonds, and Scott Rolen. He LOVES trading for an established star entering his walk year, and every time he does it, people wonder how the guy was ever on the block in the first place. Oh, and did I mention, he gives up peanuts?
The Reds now have Dunn and Jr. off the books. Castellini and company want a winner very soon, but it is clear that these trades have blown a massive hole in the hull of the offense. In comes Matt Holliday.
Sure it will cost a lot of talent, and surely a lot of cash to re-sign him (which is part of the Jocketty special.) But this is precisely the kind of move that would appease both Jocketty and Castellini at the same time. MLBtraderumors has already noted that a lot of the small market teams are expected to be serious players in the Holliday sweepstakes. But very few teams have both the talent and the money to spend. And I believe the Reds are one of them. Here's my offer (take one from each group):
Holliday could give this team EXACTLY what it needs, provided they re-sign him. If the Rockies hold out, I'd let them choose one of Henry, Cumberland, or Dorn. Of courses this all assumes the Reds get the 72-hour window to negotiate a LTC with Holliday, but the deal makes too much sense. Imagine this lineup for the next five years:
2B Keppinger/Valaika (unless he's in the deal)
They could still try to shop Arroyo for a quality catcher if they needed to free up cash for Holliday. Regardless, this would be the type of move Castellini could make to show everyone he's not as crazy as he looks. Would 6 years, $120 MM be enough? I'd like to find out.
PS If they can't get Holliday, I would be interested in Orlando Hudson as a backup plan.