Fluttering around the Braves blogosphere today is this mention by an Oakland A's beat writer:
Remember that potential trade with the Braves -- Holliday and Cabrera for Escobar and prospects -- I mentioned a while back? I keep hearing it, but out here I'm also hearing the Braves would need the A's to take on a big part of the money owed Holliday over the next few months.
On the money front Matt Holliday would probably have about $6 million remaining on his 2009 salary at the trade deadline, and Orlando Cabrera would have about $1.5 with another $0.25 bonus if he is traded, so the money is not that much, but enough that the Braves would definitely need the A's to pick up a lot of it.
Cabrera has an interesting clause in his contract that states that if he turns out to be a type-A free agent, then his team cannot offer him arbitration. So everyone who is saying that we would get two potential type-A free agents and therefore the draft picks in return is incorrect. Furthermore, the money that we would need to put on the line to offer arbitration to (1) Holliday, (2) Cabrera, (3) Rafael Soriano, and (4) Mike Gonzalez (all potential free agents) would cripple our ability to do anything for at least the first part of the off-season, if not the whole off-season.
The Braves would likely find themselves in the same situation that the Diamondbacks found themselves in last year with Adam Dunn -- trading for him with the intention of recouping the prospects via the draft after he left via free agency, only to reasess the baseball landscape and realize that he would accept arbitration for the big payday, which they could not afford; therefore he turned into a pure three month rental for prospects.
This is the same situation we would likely find ourselves in with Holliday and Cabrera -- pure three-month rentals -- at the end of which, we would need a starting shortstop, so what would we do? We'd probably re-sign Cabrera = fail.
The whole premise behind this trade is stupid. Garret Anderson (.701 OPS) exceeds the production of Orlando Cabrera (.643 OPS), and Yunel Escobar (.789 OPS) equals the production of Matt Holliday (.792 OPS), and Holliday would be supplanting Anderson in left. Cabrera (.643 OPS) is Jeff Francoeur (.634 OPS) at shortstop and Holliday is not the same guy he was when he could play half of his games at Coors Field.
This trade is a pure pipe dream from some people in Oakland. For all the good work that Frank Wren has done as GM, and all the good trades he has made, this potential trade would be a big fat zero.
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