Cheap Seats

Wallace's stock rises

I stand by my two thumbs up assessment of the dealing of Brett Wallace to the Athletics in exchange for Matt Holliday.

But, while Cardinals rooters are giddy over their new left fielder, Oakland fans probably aren't too disappointed to have Wallace, either.

The former St. Louis farmhand and No. 1 draft choice hit five home runs this week for Oakland's Class AAA affiliate, giving him the top position on Baseball America's Prospect Hot Sheet. Wallace is hitting .297 with 13 homers for the Pacific Coast League season.

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Brett Wallace

If Holliday doesn't re-up with the Cardinals, that deal could be tough to swallow in the long run. But it was worth it to take a chance because, while no one doubts Wallace's ability to hit, he was going to have to play out of position in St. Louis for as long as Albert Pujols wears the birds on the bat. (Which, if baseball is as it oughta be, will be forever.) Meanwhile, Holliday has transformed the Cardinals from a team that struggled to play .500 ball since the end of April to a runaway freight train that has a seven-game lead in its division and a real shot at the World Series.

The really good trades help both sides. And I will easily be able to deal with Wallace playing a productive role as a DH or first baseman in Oakland if Holliday signs on to patrol left field and protect Pujols from the cleanup spot for the next five years or so.