The battle for Zack Greinke might be down to just the Dodgers and the Rangers, and the bidding could exceed CC Sabathia's record $161MM contract. Here's the latest on the market's top free agent, with the newest information listed first…
- The Greinke talks are reaching a critical stage and the Dodgers are considering pulling out and moving on to other pursuits, a source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
- "We're prepared to move on from Zack Greinke," Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters including Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times today. The Halos reached an agreement with Joe Blanton yesterday.
- Buzz this morning points to the Rangers zeroing in on Greinke and trading for a bat rather than signing Josh Hamilton and trading for an arm, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark. The Dodgers are not paralyzed by Greinke, GM Ned Colletti tells Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.
- There's a growing sense among Dodgers personnel that Greinke will end up with the Rangers, tweets Scott Miller of CBS Sports. They feel that if Greinke really wanted to pitch for them, he'd have signed by now.
- Greinke's wife Emily, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, could influence her husband to get back to Texas, hears Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Now I'm reminiscing about all the Amber Sabathia-related rumors from four years ago. Sherman hears the Greinke deal will get done at these Meetings or shortly thereafter.
- An Angels person told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports a $160MM+ offer for Greinke is "going to blow us out of the water."
- While the Angels remain in touch with Greinke, an Angels person tells Heyman a Greinke signing would be more shocking than their Albert Pujols deal was a year ago.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com notes (via Twitter) that while the Greinke sweepstakes seem to be a battle between the Dodgers and Rangers, a third team could certainly enter the fray at any time. Could that team be the Angels? Manager Mike Scioscia told Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio that L.A. is still involved in negotiations (Twitter link). However, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Angels appear to be more focused on the tier of free agent pitchers below Greinke. Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times agrees, tweeting that it's "highly unlikely" the Angels exceed $20MM+ annually for a pitcher.
- The Dodgers spoke with Greinke's representatives today, though it's not clear where talks stand, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. According to Rosenthal, the Dodgers hope to sign two starting pitchers, perhaps even aiming as high as Greinke and Anibal Sanchez.
- There's a "strong belief" by people close to the situation that Greinke could beat Sabathia's $161MM contract, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman adds that a deal is possible within the next couple days (Twitterlinks).
- The "big buzz" in Nashville this morning is to watch out for the Rangers on Greinke, tweets Jayson Stark.
- Greinke is more involved in the process than many other free agents who let their representation handle the bulk of the work, writes ESPN's Jayson Stark. He'll take his time to decide, and in the meantime the rest of the starting pitching market will be on hold, as they await his decision. One executive joked to Stark about the amount of money Greinke will make: "I'm not sure it'll all fit in a Brinks truck. It might be a semi trailer."
- During the 2012 season, the Brewers let Greinke know that they'd be open to discussing an extension in the five-year, $100MM range, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. However, Greinke and agent Casey Close decided to wait, figuring they could do much better on the open market, and it looks like they'll be proven right, says Haudricourt.