A Holliday Worth Taking

With all the talk about Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee being the belles of the trade deadline ball, Matt Holliday is suddenly looking like the girl with glasses who lost 15 pounds and got lasik for her birthday. Someone would be wise to pull the baseball equivalent of asking him to dance.

After a brutal April (.240/.288/.360), Holliday has gone right back to being an All-Star caliber player. Since May 1st, but not including the two hits he already has today, he’s at .292/.394/.473 while playing his usual above average defense. Considering that those numbers are coming while playing in a good pitchers park, and Holliday’s performance should have ended any talk about him being a product of Coors Field.

ZIPS projects a .369 wOBA from Holliday over the rest of the season. If he’s traded to a team with a more hitter friendly park, that’s probably more like .375. Toss in the defense and the baserunning, and Holliday is a +4 to +5 win player going forward. Even with just two months remaining in the season, that makes Holliday about +1.5 wins compared to a replacement level corner outfielder between now and the end of the season.

While pitchers often draw the most attention at the deadline, an impact player like Holliday is going to have just as much effect on helping a team win this year. He’ll command significantly less in return to acquire than either of the Cy Young contending arms, thanks to his contract status, but for a team looking to gear up just for ’09, Holliday could be a big addition.

Two months of an all-star plus two draft picks? Holliday isn’t going to come cheap, but he’s worth it.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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LOL what an awesome extended metaphor.