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Zack Greinke Rumors
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.
Although Dan Haren found a deal this morning, much of the free agent pitching market remains on hold while Zack Greinke seeks a contract, writes Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. As we wait for the dominos to begin to fall, we'll track today's Greinke updates right here, with the newest additions at the top of the page:
- In an update on his previous report, Heyman writes that a third team could be involved, but that people most familiar with the situation expect the Dodgers or Rangers to sign Greinke for $160MM+. Some have speculated that number could reach as high as $175MM. The Rangers' talks with Josh Hamilton appear to be on hold while they pursue Greinke.
- The Greinke derby appears to be between the Rangers and Dodgers, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and the deal is likely to be for $160MM+. The largest-ever contract signed by a pitcher is $161MM, from the Yankees for C.C. Sabathia four years ago.
- The Dodgers would be surprised to see a resolution on the Greinke situation before they leave the Winter Meetings, tweets Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times.
- Dodgers manager Don Mattingly met with Greinke last week in Los Angeles, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.'
- Greinke is still "going through the process" with teams, so his situation hasn't gained clarity yet, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.
- The Dodgers and Rangers appear to be the favorites for Greinke, with the Angels as the dark horse, tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
- Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and SiriusXM also considers those three teams to be the strongest suitors for Greinke, though he views the Angels as a more likely candidate than the Rangers (Twitter link). With the Nats out and the Braves unlikely, Bowden wonders if a mystery team, such as the Blue Jays, Red Sox, or White Sox, could get involved.
- It will be an upset if the Rangers don't sign Hamilton or Greinke, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels feels "very strong" that shortstop Elvis Andrus will be a Ranger in 2013, he told reporters including Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- The Rangers finalized their two-year, $8MM deal with reliever Joakim Soria today. ESPN's Keith Law sees this as "a good deal for Texas that could turn out to be outstanding."
- The Rangers signed outfielder Chih-Hsien Chang to a minor league deal, tweets Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest. Chang, 24, hit .249/.281/.363 in 479 plate appearances across the Mariners' Double and Triple-A affiliates, spending most of his time at the outfield corners.
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.
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.
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:
- 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 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.
"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 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.
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.