The Atkins diet is reporting that the Colorado Rockies thinned their roster (see what I did there?) by non-tendering third baseman Garrett Atkins, a move that had been anticipated for months

Atkins, who made $7.05 million this season, was offered a multi-year deal two years ago. He should have taken it. Now he’s a free agent and anyone can sign him.

The Orioles have some interest and didn’t engage in serious trade talks with the Rockies because they anticipated that he would hit the open market.

If only Atkins would hit the way he did in 2006, when he batted .329 with 29 homers and 120 RBIs. His numbers keep dropping in those categories every season, along with his OPS, and he lost his starting job to Ian Stewart this year while batting .226 with nine homers and 48 RBIs. He hit .200 away from Coors Field. He isn’t particularly impressive with the glove, either, compared to some other third basemen on the market.

Do you sense that I’m not real excited about this guy?

Before you assume that I’m against signing him, the Orioles need someone to play third base for the short term. They also need someone to play first, which Atkins could do if you were inclined to move him around.

They could do worse, but I won’t try to sell it as a ringing endorsement.

The free-agent market bores me. Atkins’ inclusion in it doesn’t make my enthusiasm level spike.

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