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a few thoughts …

As we wait for official word on this Matt Holliday-to-the-A’s madness, I’m sure imaginations are running wild among A’s fans. Here’s a few of my observations:

**My initial reaction was shock — shock at writing a story about the A’s possibly obtaining a big-name player in a blockbuster trade rather than dealing him away. And considering the state of this franchise — two straight losing seasons; a frustrated and demoralized fan base; the uncertainty involving the Fremont move — I think some sort of bold manuever is needed. And this certainly ranks as one if it goes through.

**I assume the biggest concern among A’s fans is seeing a prospect like Gonzalez potentially leave, especially considering Holliday could bolt for free agency after one season. My guess is the Rockies weren’t going to give up a player like Holliday unless they received at least one prospect of Gonzalez’s caliber. The path that Gonzalez’s career takes may determine how good of a trade this is for the A’s (again, if it goes through). We could be looking at a 2009 A’s outfield of Holliday, Ryan Sweeney and Travis Buck, left to right. Curious to get your thoughts on that …

**The A’s feel very good about their organizational pitching depth, one reason they would feel OK including Smith in the deal. But it would leave a hole for next year’s rotation. And let’s remember that a healthy return from Justin Duchscherer and Sean Gallagher can’t be taken for granted. As it stands, I have a hard time coming up with five starters. Duchscherer, Gallagher and Dana Eveland are in, and then you need two more starters to emerge from the likes of Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Braden and Josh Outman. If Brett Anderson or Trevor Cahill can make a quick adjustment to the bigs during the spring, they could easily claim one of these spots. Or perhaps Billy Beane will change his mind and pursue a free-agent starting pitcher after all …

**The wild card in this deal: Would Holliday be as dangerous a hitter if he called Oakland Coliseum home, rather than the hitters’ haven that is Coors Field? His OPS last season was .997 at home and .891 on the road. Not a drastic difference. But it stands to reason he would suffer a bit playing half of his games at the Coliseum, where hitters are amazed at how poorly the ball carries much of the time.

Feel free to sound off on any of these topics, or let me know what you think about the trade in general …

Joe Stiglich