Cards played the waiting game ... and won

BY foxsports • July 26, 2009

St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak played the waiting game — and won.

The Cardinals were after Matt Holliday last winter.

The Rockies asking price was steep.

Oakland outbid the Cardinals.

Eight months later, the A's had to salvage what they could, and sent Holliday to St. Louis.

It's a win-win for Mozeliak.

He avoided the temptation last winter, when the Rockies were looking at a return on Holliday of big-league outfielder Ryan Ludwick, second baseman/outfielder Skip Schumaker, and right-handed pitcher Mitchell Boggs, who spent time in the Cardinals rotation earlier this season.

Without Holliday, the Cardinals still found themselves in first place in the NL Central, leading by a game on Friday morning.

Then they got Holliday from Oakland. As well as bringing a legitimate bat to compliment Albert Pujols, Holliday also provides an emotional lift to his new teammates because the organization stepped up and added the right-handed slugger. The cost? Three prospects, none of which showed promise of having an impact in St. Louis.

It's a gamble that backfired on Oakland general manager Billy Beane, who gave up closer Huston Street, promising outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, and left-handed pitcher Greg Smith to acquire Holliday. His hope was that a strong first half by Holliday would perk the interest of contenders, but instead, economic concerns along with a sluggish begging for Holliday, left Beane without a strong bidding war.

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