The Colorado Rockies made it official Wednesday and shipped outfielder Matt Holliday to the Oakland Athletics for reliever Huston Street, starting pitcher Greg Smith and outfield prospect Carlos Gonzalez.
"While it is difficult to have to say goodbye to a player with the skills that Matt possesses we wish him well," said Rockies executive vice president and general manager Dan O'Dowd. "The long-term model for our organization to be successful has always been built around the team dynamic. The three men we acquired from Oakland are talented major league players that are a solid fit for us."
Holliday, a two-time All-Star, hit .321 last season -- his fourth straight .300 campaign -- but saw his power numbers dip, as he hit 25 home runs with 88 runs batted in. It was the first time since 2005 that he failed to top 30 homers and drive in 100 runs.
He had been the runner-up to Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins for the NL MVP Award in 2007 when he set career highs, hitting .340 with 36 home runs and 137 RBI.
Eligible to become a free agent at the end of the 2009 season, Colorado reportedly had offered Holliday $68 million guaranteed over four years (plus a fifth year option that could have taken it to $85 million), but he turned the deal down, instead wanting to hit the open market.
Holliday is a career .319 hitter and has hit 128 home runs, while knocking in 483 runs in his five years with the Rockies. However, he is a .280 hitter away from hitter-friendly Coors Field with 44 homers and 176 RBI in 339 games.
"Improving the offense was clearly our stated priority this offseason," said Billy Beane, the A's vice president and general manager. "Trading for a player of Matt's caliber begins the process of creating an environment in which our young hitters can continue to improve and our young pitchers can continue to develop into one of the best staffs in the league."
Among the three players Oakland will send to Colorado is 2005 American League Rookie of the Year Street, who went 7-5 last season with 18 saves in 25 chances before losing his closer role late in the season.
In four campaigns with the Athletics, the 25-year-old Street is 21-12 with 94 saves and a 2.88 earned run average in 247 appearances.
The left-handed Smith, 24, struggled in his rookie season with the A's, finishing with a 7-16 record and a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts.
Fellow rookie Gonzalez, a highly touted prospect from Venezuela, hit a mere .242 in 85 games with 26 RBI and 31 runs scored. The 23-year-old struck out 81 times in 302 at-bats.