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Quick thoughts on a Tuesday: Cargo vs Holliday

That's right, friends, you're getting a double dose of Counting Rocks this week....assuming I can finish tomorrow's article...

Anyhow, a poster on another messageboard I frequent brought up the issue of the Holliday trade, and used WAR to justify it for the Rockies. The obvious caveat was "we'll have to see how Wallace and Gonzalez pan out" and then Cardinals fans took over the discussion from their angle. I figured I couldn't let this stand, as Holliday was OUR player, so I ran a bit of analysis on what Holliday has provided for the Cardinals as compared with what Gonzalez has provided for the Rockies.

The question stands: Was it a mistake to trade Matt Holliday in the first place?

Click past the jump and we'll take a look at what we've come up with.

The thing we're forgetting is who we have replacing Holliday. When you consider how good Seth Smith has been, that adds to the value of the trade, sort of.

Given that Fuentes was undoubtedly leaving, and Holliday had no intention of reupping with the club, we'd be talking about Corpas closing and singlehandedly costing us probably 4-5 games in the standings, and then getting hurt. Street's been nearly invaluable, obviously not just because of saves, but his 2.82 WPA, 2.29 tRA, and goofy ass smile. Also "Hate Me Now" by Nas. Greg Smith has been an excellent paperweight in AAA.

Also, while we lost Holliday, we gained 5 freaking years of Carlos Gonzalez. I don't know what to expect out of him going forward, but I do know that he's bumped his season line to .299/.372/.549/.396. Holliday's season line is at .315/.394/.528/.394. Seth Smith, in limited/platoon/PH/grossly unappreciated duty, has batted .318/.406/.573/.419. I figure we can lump Smith and Gonzalez together, as they've had to share duty, what with Fowler in CF.

Since Aug 1, Gonzalez has batted at a level of 13.5 wRAA (weighted Runs Above Average), Holliday 19.1. Gonzalez has also played outstanding defense in LF and about average in CF (per UZR), and UZR basically hates Holliday in LF (-3.4 UZR in LF as a Card). (I know it's kind of faulty to just look at a month and change, but if we're gonna evaluate Holliday, we really can only do it as a Card, and so we'll just look at Gonzalez from the same date). I want to combine Smith and Gonzalez for August, because despite their firey bats, they had to split time in some way shape or form. Only issue here is Holliday has 141 PA to Gonzalez' 116 since Aug 1, but adding Smith to Gonzalez bumps you up to 206 PA, so a direct comparison gets a bit tricky.

So instead we'll evaluate on a per-PA scale. If we look at Gonzalez + Smith for August, and just Gonzalez for September (as Fowler's been dead so both Smith and Gonzalez have been starting), Holliday's posting a .1073 RV/PA (Run-Value per Plate Appearance, above Average), while the convoluted Smith/Gonzalez platoon thing posted a .0836 RV/PA. Factor in defense and I'd argue it's a wash.

Basically, Smith + Gonzalez >= Holliday in my opinion/evaluation, and then Street on top of that, because there's no way we are where we are without him.