The latest from Lew

When Lew Wolff talks, he’s never boring, that’s for sure. In case you didn’t see it, the A’s owner told the AP that he’d like to see the first round of the MLB playoffs be a one-game winner-take-all affair. That’s what grabbed the headlines. But what should interest A’s fans even more was his statement that he prefers to keep Matt Holliday for the entire 2009 season, even if it means losing him to free agency.

I wouldn’t expect him to take any other stance right now. No doubt that the Holliday trade is boosting hope among A’s fans for 2009, and no need deflating those hopes by suggesting he might be traded midseason. But I think the decision to trade or keep Holliday needs to be based solely on where the A’s are in the AL West standings (and the AL wild card race) as the deadline approaches. If they appear in contention, you have to keep the team together (maybe even swing another deal for the stretch run). If they flounder through the first half, the chance to score a big return by trading Holliday should be exploited.

Getting two draft picks (as compensation for losing Holliday to free agency) is all well and good. But there’s no guarantee how draft picks will develop, even high picks. But the bidding would be fierce if you dangle Holliday near the July 31 deadline. You could demand an established major leaguer in return, along with a prospect or two. The way I see it, Holliday is just too valuable. And if you’re convinced you can’t keep him in Oakland past 2009, then maximize that value for all it’s worth.

What would you like to see the A’s do?

Joe Stiglich