Just finished up a conference call w/Billy Beane and Matt Holliday. Thought I’d share a few tidbits:
–Beane’s response when asked about retaining Holliday beyond the 2009 season: “Matt’s a premium player. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. It’s no secret he’s going to command a significant contract. The best thing I can say is when we get to that point we’ll deal with it.” He also mentioned that being compensated with two draft picks if Holliday left via free agency would dove-tail nicely with the A’s rebuilding plan.
–With Holliday likely to take over left field and Carlos Gonzalez gone, Ryan Sweeney looks like your new A’s center fielder. Beane said he has confidence Sweeney can handle the position on an everyday basis. Travis Buck would appear to have the inside track on the right field job.
–Although Greg Smith’s departure leaves a hole in the rotation, the A’s aren’t likely to pursue a premier free agent starting pitcher. And Beane said he’d rather go with a young, in-house pitcher who’s ready to start rather than a veteran re-tread.
Hope this holds you over for a while …