You have to wonder if Uncle Walt plans to make the same splash with acquiring Matt Holliday as he did at the July 31 trading deadline back in 1997 when he acquired Mark McGwire for T.J. Mathews, Eric Ludwick and B. Stein? And even though McGwire would have been a free agent at the end of the season, Jockerty was able to sign him to a contract extension that September.
When the Cardinals acquired McGwire, that is when their fortunes turned around. Now fastforward to the present and substitute the Reds for the Cardinals and Holliday for McGwire. Think history can repeat itself?
The Rockies are looking for young pitching. Obviously they would ask for either Volquez or Cueto. But with no guarantee that that Holliday would sign a contract extension, what team would risk giving a pitcher of that caliber? Very few unless the Yankees are serious about trading Phillip Hughes, which they even refused to do in the Santana trade talks with Minnesota last year. And with Mussina and Pettite most likely to retire, the Yankees will be looking hard for pitching.
Think Uncle Walt can put together a deal like Homer Bailey, Josh Roenicke and Juan Francisco for Holliday, and sign him to a contract extension? Would Holliday have the same magnitude for the Reds as McGwire did with the Cardinals. Or would the Reds be making a serious mistake putting all that payroll into one player? If the Reds are close like several have said, does acquiring Holliday put them over the top, and replace the lost production with the departures of Griffey and Dunn?