Zack Greinke Rumors
Zack Greinke is headed back to Los Angeles, but he won't be re-signing with the Angels. The Dodgers announced today that they have signed the free agent right-hander. He'll obtain a six-year contract worth $147MM from the Dodgers, according Gina Miller of TXA21 (Twitter links). Greinke is represented by Casey Close of Excel Sports Management.
Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio has the contract breakdown (on Twitter). Greinke will receive a $12MM signing bonus with a $17MM salary in 2013, $24MM in 2014, $23MM in 2015, $24MM in 2016, $23MM in 2017, and $24MM in 2018. Bowden reports (on Twitter) that Greinke did not receive a no-trade clause with the contract. Greinke has a full player opt-out clause after the third year of the deal, Bowden reports (via Twitter). Furthermore, if Greinke is traded during the course of the contract he can opt out at end of year.
Because he was traded at midseason, Greinke was not eligible to receive a qualifying offer and will not require draft pick compensation. The Dodgers don't surrender a pick and the Angels don't obtain one.
Greinke, 29, was the free agent market's top pitcher and top overall player according to MLBTR's Tim Dierkes. The Angels and Rangers were among his suitors. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner pitched to a 3.48 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 212 1/3 innings split between the Brewers and Angels in 2012, his fourth 200+ inning season in the last five years. Tim predicted Greinke would re-sign with the Halos. Check out where you rank in our Free Agent Prediction Contest.
Greinke's deal smashes Matt Cain's record for the largest contract given to a right-handed pitcher in baseball history. Cain signed a five-year, $112.5MM pact with the Giants earlier this year. Greinke's contract is comparable to the six-year, $144MM deal given to Cole Hamels by the Phillies this summer. It's worth noting that neither Cain nor Hamels were free agents at the time of their deals. Greinke's $24.5MM average annual value is the new record for a pitcher on a multi-year contract, surpassing CC Sabathia's $24.4MM average annual salary with the Yankees.
The Dodgers have become baseball's biggest spender since Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the team from Frank McCourt for more than $2 billion back in March. They absorbed over $300MM in payroll obligation in July and August alone, most of which came from their blockbuster with the Red Sox. Los Angeles will become the first ever NL team with a $200MM+ payroll this year and they figure to boast the largest payroll in MLB history. They will also be the second team ever with four players making $20MM+ annually (Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp).
With Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano, and Aaron Harang already under contract, the Dodgers figure to trade one and possibly two starters before Spring Training. Both Harang and Capuano have been on the block this winter. Greinke's contract figures to have a direct impact on Kershaw, who is scheduled to become a free agent after 2014 and is in line for a massive nine-figure contract of his own.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links) helped break the news while Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times, and MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported the two sides were close to a deal. Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Zack Greinke's record-setting six-year, $147MM contract with the Dodgers will have a ripple effect throughout baseball. MLB.com's Peter Gammons lists five things to watch for in the aftermath of Greinke's signing including what kind of deal will Casey Close, who represents both Greinke and his new teammate Clayton Kershaw, be able to negotiate for the young left-hander. Other aftershocks include:
- The Rays may be in a better position to deal one of their starting pitchers, as their value should be enhanced in talks with the Rangers, Royals, Diamondbacks, Rockies, or whichever other teams are interested, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin.
- After losing out on Greinke, the Rangers will turn their attention to R.A. Dickey, James Shields, and possibly Anibal Sanchez, writes Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.
- Rangers GM Jon Daniels told reporters, including T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, "We'd like to add to our starting depth and we'd like to acquire an impact guy. But we're not casting a wide net to add a starter at any cost."
- The Tigers are affected both short-term and long-term, opines MLB.com's Jason Beck. Short-term, the Tigers could benefit because the Greinke signing should take the Dodgers out of the bidding for Sanchez and no other suitor for the right-hander has such superior financial resources. Long-term, potential contract extensions for Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer (represented by SFX and Scott Boras, respectively, according to MLBTR's Agency Database) could become much more expensive.
- Earlier today, we learned how one executive believes the entire economic landscape of the game is going to change drastically because of the Dodgers' spending. And, the Greinke signing will not allay those fears.
Angels GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters yesterday that he's "prepared to move on from Zack Greinke." Even the Dodgers are considering moving on, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported yesterday. The Rangers maintain interest in the free agent right-hander, but there's not much clarity beyond that. Here are the latest rumors surrounding Greinke with the most recent updates up top...
- The Angels are "very unlikely" to make a last-minute play for Greinke as they did last year with Albert Pujols, a source tells ESPN's Jim Bowden (Twitter link).
- Also from Bowden's Twitter feed, a Dodgers source says that if the team can't sign Greinke, it will explore a trade for R.A. Dickey or pursue Anibal Sanchez in free agency. Sanchez is the Dodgers' top choice ahead of Kyle Lohse amongst free agent starters.
- Nolan Ryan and the rest of the Rangers front office blew Greinke away, Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio reports (on Twitter). Greinke apparently loves the team's chances of winning the World Series.
- The Dodgers are pessimistic about their chances of signing Greinke, Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com reports. GM Ned Colletti had a memorable response when asked if he was on the doorstep of signing the free agent right-hander. "We're not on the front lawn. ... We're barely out of the car at the curb. It's better than driving around the neighborhood looking for the house. We know where the house is located. We just can't seem to get out of the car."
- Many trade and free agent possibilities are on hold as teams wait to see where Greinke will sign, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Greinke knows the Dodgers and Rangers are serious about signing him, but he now appears to be uncertain about his next step. The Rangers would prefer to sign Greinke, trade Michael Young to Philadelphia and acquire Justin Upton, Nightengale reports.
7:25pm: The Rangers have been told that Greinke is not signing with them, reports MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.
6:59pm: It's a six-year contract worth $145MM, reports Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. That would be the largest contract ever given to right-handed pitcher, surpassing Matt Cain's five-year, $112.5MM deal. Hernandez emphasizes that the deal is not done yet.
6:45pm: The Dodgers appear to be close to signing Zack Greinke, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). There is still ground to be covered, but Los Angeles is out in front for the right-hander's services at the moment.
Greinke, 29, is the free agent market's top pitcher and top overall player according to MLBTR's Tim Dierkes. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner pitched to a 3.48 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 212 1/3 innings split between the Brewers and Angels last season. It was his fourth 200+ inning season in the last five years.
This post was originally published on December 8th.
The Dodgers, Angels, and Rangers have been the righty's three primary suitors this offseason. Yesterday we learned that the Halos are "very unlikely" to re-sign Greinke, who was "blown away" by his visit to Texas. The Dodgers were also said to be pessimistic about their chances to land him, so these things can change in a hurry.
Post-meetings links from around baseball..
- Dodgers people are starting to sound a little less optimistic in their pursuit of Zack Greinke and are wondering if the pitcher might prefer the Rangers, writes Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- The Cubs' addition of Nate Schierholtz doesn't end their search for outfield help, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The White Sox sound like they would like to add another bullpen arm to the mix, writes Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. General Manager Rick Hahn specifically identified the role vacated by free agent Brett Myers, who is now drawing interest as a starter.
- Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times wonders if the Dodgers' policy on no-trade clauses will preclude their ability to lure free agents.
- Twins GM Terry Ryan tells MLB Network Radio (via Twitter) that they will listen to all offers on Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
- Brewers GM Doug Melvin says that the club isn't in on Brian Wilson, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com.
- Agent Scott Boras explained to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that the Red Sox were paying for more than baseball ability when they gave Daisuke Matsuzaka his monster deal in 2006.
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.