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Baltimore joins Holliday derby

Fox Sports reports that the Orioles have joined the Matt Holliday bidding, which is an interesting twist, to say the least.

The O's weren't thought to be major players in the hot stove spending spree. But they supposedly could scrape together $140 million last year to throw at Maryland native Mark Teixeira.

Baltimore's Teixeira bid was never really competitive with what the Yankees and Red Sox were offering for Teixeira. But that same amount would easily be the high water mark for Matt Holliday. And it would probably be more than any other team is willing to pay.

Then again, the Orioles might be trying to make a public relations splash with no expectation of winning the Holliday derby.

Holliday said when he turned down the Rockies attempts to re-sign him in 2007 that playing for a winner was the most important thing to him, a theme he has repeated many times since then. And Baltimore doesn't seem to fit that descriptions since the O's seem destined to finish no better than third to New York and Boston for the foreseeable future. In fact, the Orioles have finished under .500 for 12 seasons in a row...

The Fox report claims that Holliday may want to play with former Rockies teammate Garrett Atkins who signed with Baltimore a few days ago. But Atkins is a marginal player who isn't guaranteed to be around for a long time. And, if you were Holliday, would you rather play with Atkins or Albert Pujols?

Agent Scott Boras said yesterday that four teams are bidding on Holliday. Usually you can't trust these sorts of claims at all. But we know the Cardinals have an offer out, Baltimore says it's going to make an offer and the Mets have been making some noise -- although Newsday reported yesterday that the NL New Yorkers really like Bay better than Holliday and that the Holliday claims are more of a negotiating ploy than a true intention to get into a bidding war. Who the other team might be is anyone's guess. But I'm sure Boras, who usually claims to have a mystery team in the wings, wants the Cardinals to think it's the Yankees...

We shall see what is smoke and what is fire... While Boras likes to string things out, Teixeira signed on Dec. 23 last off-season. So crunch time is drawing near.