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Angels: Holliday won't get a halo

A couple of days ago I passed on an L.A. Times report that said Matt Holliday wasn't a priority of the Angels.

Well, he's not even a secondary, according to the team's owner.

"He is not going to be an Angel," Arte Moreno said. "We are not looking at Holliday at all."

Sure, there is some gamesmanship in negotiations. But the "at all" part has to be pretty tough for the Holliday camp to swallow. It's hard for agent Scott Boras to play teams against each other and drive up the bidding when owners are making blanket statements like that.

While some figured the Angels had deep pockets that would make them the favorites to win the Holliday derby, Moreno said the team plans to hold the line on last season's $113.7-million payroll. Holliday wants $18 million a year or more and the Halos only have $12 million or so in flexibility. The Angels would like to dump Gary Matthews Jr. and the $11 million he'll make in 2010 and $12 million in 2011. But that's going to be a hard sell unless the Halos pick up a bad contract in return or at least pick up a sizable portion of the money owed.

While the Cardinals say they aren't interested in Jason Bay as a fallback to Holliday, Moreno seems to like the Red Sox left fielder better.

"You have to look at Bay," Moreno said.