Zack Greinke Rumors

Angels Rumors: Haren, Greinke, Pitching

4:45pm: The Angels' once-tepid interest in Brandon McCarthy has picked up in Nashville, tweets DiGiovanna.    

1:52pm: Dan Haren's agreement with the Nationals takes another starting pitching option off the board for the Angels, who made an effort to bring back the right-hander after not tendering him a qualifying offer. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter), the Angels made a one-year offer to Haren with a very achievable option year.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweets that there was at least one other team in on Haren at around $13MM, suggesting that the price tag for free agent starters will be high this offseason. That isn't great news for the Angels, since the team appears to have a finite amount of money to spend on pitching, according to DiGiovanna (Twitter link). If the Angels go big on a starter, they'll have to scrimp on relievers, and vice versa, says DiGiovanna.

Although the Angels have checked in on virtually every free agent starting pitcher, including Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, and Joe Saunders, Zack Greinke remains their first choice, tweets DiGiovanna.


Rays Increasingly Likely To Trade Starter

According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the buzz at the Winter Meetings suggests that Zack Greinke could be in line for a bigger payday than initially expected — one competing agent thinks the right-hander could land a seven-year, $185MM deal. Given the high price tags on free agent starting pitchers, it's becoming increasingly likely that the Rays take advantage by dealing one of their starters, says Heyman.

James Shields and Jeremy Hellickson have been the names mentioned most in trade discussions and speculation, but the Rays will listen on anyone, including Cy Young winner David Price, says Heyman. Rays people view their chances of locking up Price beyond his current deal as "nil," according to Heyman, so if he isn't moved this winter, Price figures to be at the center of plenty more trade rumors down the road.

The Rays' arms are viewed as possible options for teams that miss out on the Greinke sweepstakes. The Dodgers, Nationals, and Rangers are among the clubs that been in contact with the Rays so far.


Angels In On Edwin Jackson

Yesterday, we heard that the Angels weren't acting like they were confident about landing Zack Greinke, and that they were shifting their focus to the next tier of free agent pitchers. Here are a few more details on their search, along with some details on their hunt for bullpen arms:

Earlier updates:

  • Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link) singles out Anibal Sanchez and Kyle Lohse as two pitchers the Angels are eyeing, with Greinke's asking price too high for their liking.
  • If the Angels don't have any success with outside free agents, the team could circle back to Dan Haren, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The Angels have a history with Haren and have a more favorable view of his medical issues than other clubs (Twitter links).
  • As MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reported earlier today, Sean Burnett and Mike Adams are among the relievers the Angels are targeting. The team also inquired on Joakim Soria, but there's likely not a fit there since Soria wants to close.


Orioles Notes: LaRoche, Hamilton, Greinke, Floyd

Orioles general manager Dan Duquette spoke to reporters in Nashville tonight about Baltimore's plans for the week. Here are a few of the highlights from Duquette, along with other Orioles-related items (all links go to Twitter)….

  • The Orioles like Adam LaRoche, but to say the team is in serious negotiations for him is inaccurate, says Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com. The two sides haven't been in contact at the Winter Meetings, according to Duqette.
  • Duquette left the door open for the Orioles to look at top-tier free agents like Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke, but suggested that the team's focus is elsewhere, according to Melewski.
  • Duquette has met with four teams and three agents today, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. None of those agents represented the Orioles' own free agents, says Kubatko.
  • Baltimore is expecting arbitration to cost the team about $22MM this season, says Britt Ghiroli of MLB.com.  Our estimate is closer to $28MM, so it'll be interesting to see where we may have missed.
  • The O's are interested in Gavin Floyd, according to Kubatko, though he cautions that this is far from the first time he's heard that over the years.

Dodgers Notes: Greinke, Trades, Ryu

"We're in on so many players that we might need two or three teams," joked Dodgers GM Ned Colletti today at the Winter Meetings in Nashville.  Colletti says his team has gone from being an afterthought to being the go-to team whether they're involved or not.  The latest on the NL West superpower:

  • Colletti said he's yet to make offers to any free agents, writes Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times.  Colletti prefers to "push things to the point that it’s in their court to engage us in a serious negotiation."  The Dodgers' GM did see Zack Greinke's agent Casey Close today.
  • The Dodgers are talking to 10-12 teams about potential trades, Colletti said (Hernandez reporting).
  • The Dodgers have a deadline of 5pm eastern to reach an agreement with South Korean lefty Ryu Hyun-jin, and keep in mind that he would have to take a physical as well.  The Dodgers won the right to negotiate with the Scott Boras client for $25.7MM, which would be returned if an agreement cannot be reached.  Colletti told Yahoo's Tim Brown and other reporters the two parties are not necessarily on a pace to get a deal done, while Boras said he's yet to receive an offer.

Zack Greinke Rumors: Monday

Zack Greinke figures to sign one of the two largest contracts of the offseason, and could do so before the 2012 Winter Meetings end. His agent, Casey Close, told reporters yesterday that it won't take him more then 24-48 hours to see if he can get a deal signed before he leaves Nashville. Here are Monday's Greinke rumors, with the most recent updates topping the list…

  • When it comes to a willingness to spend on Greinke, the Rangers are "right there" with the Dodgers, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (Twitter link). Sherman also says the Nationals remain in contact with Greinke, though the Angels seem to be falling out of the running.
  • The Dodgers seem determined to sign Greinke no matter the cost, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Heyman asked a Dodgers person about the team's budget, to which the reply was, "What budget?"  Good news for Casey Close!  The Rangers, Nationals, Angels, and Braves are some of the other teams showing interest in Greinke, but Heyman indicates the Dodgers are the heavy favorite.   

Nationals Showing Interest In James Shields

After we heard overnight that the Nationals and Rays were discussing a potential trade involving Danny Espinosa and/or Mike Morse, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports fills in the gaps on which player Washington may have been targeting. According to Heyman, the Nats are displaying interest in James Shields, though the current status of discussions between the two teams is unknown.

Heyman reports that the Nationals view Shields as a more affordable alternative to top free agents like Zack Greinke. Although Washington had been considered one potential landing spot for Greinke, a National League executive tells Heyman that the Dodgers are "scaring teams away" when it comes to bidding on the winter's top free agent pitcher.

The Red Sox, Dodgers, and Royals are among the other clubs showing interest in trading for Shields, says Heyman.


Quick Hits: Mariners, Red Sox, Cabrera, Greinke

The Mariners are looking for offense and are "in on everybody", a rival GM tells Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.  That includes big fish like Josh Hamilton and Justin Upton and they're also considering Mike Napoli and Nick SwisherCody Ross, Ryan Ludwick, and Mark Reynolds may also be fits in Seattle.  More from around baseball..

  • Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino confirmed to Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (via Twitter) that the club hopes to sign Mike Napoli, though it has to be on a three-year deal, not a four-year deal.  Lucchino added that the club is in on Hamilton (Twitter link) but they won't go to six, seven, or eight years to make it happen.  It has been well documented that the Red Sox are leery of long-term deals as they look to spend responsibly going forward.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera has a six-team no-trade clause allowing him to block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Nationals, Giants, Mets, a source tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).  The Indians have reportedly set the bar high in their demands for Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo.
  • Zack Greinke's agent Casey Close told Heyman (via Twitter) that he'll know in the next 24-48 hours if a deal can get done in Nashville.  Close added that nothing is close for his client just yet.  Meanwhile, Braves GM Frank Wren says that it's "probably unlikely" that he will sign Greinke (Twitter link).
  • The market for Ryan Dempster may develop more this week with the Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Twins in the mix, Morosi tweets.  Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (via Twitter) classifies Dempster as the Brewers' top free agent target.
  • One source tells Bill Ladson of MLB.com that he wouldn't rule out the Nationals trading for a pitcher like James Shields of the Rays.  The Nats could potentially use Mike Morse in a deal for Shields as the Rays are in need of offense.

West Notes: Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Padres

Here's a look at some news out of the AL and NL West..

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


Olney: Winter Meetings Preview

The Winter Meetings begin shortly at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. ESPN's Buster Olney, in an Insider-only post, writes past Winter Meetings have been dominated by free agent signings, but some GMs say there is more groundwork laid for possible trades this year than they can remember in the recent past. Here are some of the storylines that could play out this week, according to Olney:

  • If Olney was Rangers' GM Jon Daniels, he would go all out to sign Zack Greinke and then trade some surplus pitching for offense.
  • Some rival officials remain convinced the Diamondbacks will eventually trade Justin Upton, whose contract ($38.5MM due over the next three years) has become more attractive in the wake of his brother's deal with the Braves.
  • The Indians have set the bar high in their demands for Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo. "Time will tell on whether they've lowered (the asking prices)," said a rival GM.
  • The most likely of the Rays' established starting pitchers to be dealt is Jeremy Hellickson. On paper, the best matchup appears to be the Padres.
  • The Reds are looking to acquire a leadoff hitter and could target Dexter Fowler.
  • The Phillies continue to push on Angel Pagan. If Pagan signs with Philadelphia, the Giants could look to Shane Victorino, who is looking for $9-10MM annually.
  • The Pirates have let other teams know that closer Joel Hanrahan is available and they are looking for starting pitching.
  • In a separate tweet, Olney says the perception among rival executives is the signing of David Wright makes it much easier for the Mets to trade R.A. Dickey without fear of a PR backlash.
  • Nate Schierholtz received calls from nine teams within the first 12 hours of being non-tendered with the Yankees in the mix and the Rays also a good fit (Twitter links).