Holliday prefers New York, New York

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matt holliday cardinals.jpgSo Matt Holliday likes the Big Apple?

According to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff, who cites “a person in the loop,” the Cardinals’ free agent slugger and playoff goat views the Yankees as his No. 1 free agent choice, with the Mets coming in at No. 2.

Davidoff is skeptical that either place makes sense.

As of now, I’d say the Yankees don’t want to make another large purchase like that, in the wake of last winter’s shopping spree – and if they win it all, then the pressure from the yakosphere (trademark Neil Best) to get Holliday should alleviate.

First of all, does the pressure from the “yakosphere” ever really slow down? And secondly, look at what the Yankees have coming off the books: Johnny Damon ($13 million), Hideki Matsui ($13 million), Xavier Nady ($6.5 million), Andy Pettitte ($5 million) and Chieng-Ming Wang ($5 million). That’s $42.5 million, so the Yankees should definitely have some wiggle room.

Of course, they’ll also have to figure out what to do with their rotation behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and, I assume, Joba Chamberlain, and account for raises. I’m not saying it’s a perfect fit, but I wouldn’t rule it out just yet.

But what about the Mets?

The Mets? Based on Jeff Wilpon’s words from a few weeks ago, they’ll consider anything and everything. Of course, many industry folks are very skeptical that the Mets will actually do so.

Holliday’s primary reservation about joining the Mets? Yup, hitting at Citi Field. Maybe they can alter the dimensions? Jerry Manuel hinted near the end of the season that wasn’t impossible.

So they might be rolling out the red carpet in Queens … maybe. I hope it includes one heckuva medical plan.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.