The Orioles are bidding for Matt Holliday? Really?

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Rosenthal and Morosi report that Baltimore has “jumped into the bidding” for Matt Holliday. They don’t say exactly what that means — have they made an offer? Have they asked for a meeting? Are they merely Facebook friends? — and while they make some decent arguments as to why Holliday might make sense in Baltimore, they don’t provide any indication that Holliday is taking them seriously.

Could this be something that was just thrown out there by Boras in an attempt to juice negotiations with the Cardinals? The FOX guys are usually more discerning than that so I doubt it, but the Orioles alleged interest doesn’t really fit in with the plan Andy MacPhail has been implementing of late. Sure, they signed two free agents yesterday, but those aren’t king-sized deals like the kind Holliday would command.

I suppose we’ll know soon enough how serious the Orioles’ interest is, but in the meantime I can’t help but think that their “jump” into the bidding is merely an effort to stoke some excitement in the fan base as opposed to seriously wanting to lay out $100 million or whatever it would take to actually bring him to Baltimore.

UPDATE: And Adrian Gonzalez too?  Really, is Baltimore actually looking to do something huge?

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.