Every baseball writer from Tim Kirkjian to Tracy Ringolsby is reporting the Colorado Rockies are going to trade left fielder Matt Holliday this winter. Even though Colorado would get a fine return of prospects from trading Holliday, it would be a foolish trade for Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd to make. The NL West is a winnable division for the Rockies in 2009 and not having Holliday in the middle of the lineup hurts the Rockies chances. If things do not work out and the Rockies are not in contention Holliday could always be moved mid season. Colorado could also keep Holliday and take the compensation draft picks when he moves on at the end of the 2009 season. The Rockies have a realistic chance to contend in 2009 and they should take advantage of that.
The Rockies do have some weak areas and O'Dowd is going to have to make some moves to shore these up. The player the Rockies should be looking to move is 3B Garrett Atkins. Atkins is a power bat and he is not eligible to file for free agency until after the 2010 season. This should make him appealing to several Major League teams. The Rockies can afford to trade Atkins because they have Ian Stewart to step in and fill Atkins position. Moving Atkins could return a starting pitcher or free up salary to go shopping for one on the free agent market.
There are some teams like the Kansas City Royals that should look at 2009 as a building year and plan their off season moves with a focus on the future. The Rockies are not in that position. With the right off season moves they could enter 2009 as the favorites to win the NL West. Dan O'Dowd and the Rockies front office needs to realize they are not the Royals and add the pieces that will put the Rockies into the playoffs for the second time in the last three years.