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?

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.