07/24/2009 3:01 PM ET
Cardinals swing deal for A's Matt Holliday; Redbirds send trio of prospects to Oakland for three-time All-Star outfielder
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired three-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday and cash considerations from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor leaguers Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen.
"We are extremely excited to have acquired Matt Holliday," said Cardinals' Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. "Matt is an impact player who gives us an instant added threat in the middle of our lineup. These types of opportunities are rare. The price to complete this deal was steep, but our organization feels that it should greatly improve our chances to compete for a postseason berth. I want to thank both ownership and our scouting and player development staffs for enabling us to be in position to bring a player with the credentials of Matt Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals."
Holliday, 29, owns a career .315 batting average with 139 home runs and 537 RBI in five-plus seasons with the Colorado Rockies (2004-08) and Oakland Athletics (2009). He was batting .286 with 11 homers and 54 RBI for the A's this season and was 16-for-41 (.390) with six doubles, three home runs, 11 RBI and 12 runs scored in his last 10 games. He is batting .337 (29-86) over his last 22 games.
The Stillwater, Okla. native batted .300 or better in four of his first five seasons, with the lone exception being his rookie season of 2004 when he batted .290. A three-time (2006-08) N.L. All-Star and Silver Slugger award winner, Holliday enjoyed an MVP-caliber season in 2007 while helping the Rockies to their first-ever World Series appearance.
The right-handed hitting Holliday enjoyed career bests in batting (.340), hits (216), doubles (50), RBI (137) and extra-base hits (92) in 2007, leading the N.L. in each category. He finished a close runner-up to the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins for league MVP honors that year and was named the MVP of the N.L. Championship Series after the Rockies got by Arizona.
Entering 2009, Holliday had hit .300 or better and finished among the top seven in batting in the N.L. in each of his last four seasons, joining Albert Pujols as the only players who can make that claim. His .315 batting average since 2004 ranks 6th-best among active players in all of baseball (Suzuki - .335, Pujols - .334, Mauer - .322, V. Guerrero - .321, Helton - .316). Holliday is one of seven players since 2005 with at least 100 home runs and 50 stolen bases (Sizemore-CLE, Soriano-CHI, Wright-NY, Beltran-NY, Hunter-LAA and A. Rodriguez-NYY).
Drafted by Colorado in the 7th round in 1998, Holliday made his major league debut on April 16, 2004 at old Busch Stadium. He went on to bat .290 that season, earning selection to both Baseball America and Topps All-Rookie teams. He earned his first All-Star selection in 2006 after batting .326 with 34 homers and 114 RBI - finishing among the top-5 in the National League in batting, hits, runs scored, extra base hits, total bases and slugging pct.
Holliday hit his fourth career grand slam in the seventh inning this past Monday. Six of his 11 home runs this year have come in the seventh inning or later and seven have come with runners on base (one grand slam, three 3-run, three 2-run). He is tied for the A's team lead with 12 stolen bases, marking his fifth straight season with 10 or more steals.
Holliday has exhibited tremendous late season success, posting a career .320 batting mark in September (14th among active players since 2004, min. 400 at-bats), 30 home runs (T10th) and 115 RBI (4th) to go along with his career .316 post All-Star batting average.
Wallace (2008) and Mortensen (2007) are both former first-round draft selections for the Cardinals. Peterson was a 2nd round selection in 2008.
Holliday will be issued uniform #15.