The Diamondbacks’ whirlwind courtship of Zack Greinke is chronicled by FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Owner Ken Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall had lightly discussed pursuing Greinke but only gave the front office the go-ahead to start talks on the very day that Greinke was allegedly going to choose between the Giants and Dodgers. D’Backs management was emboldened by a forthcoming TV contract that allowed them to make a big initial offer (to get the attention of agent Casey Close) and also afford the deferral payments that went into the record-setting contract. All told, the entire process took 5.5 hours from Kendrick’s okay to Greinke’s final agreement.
Here’s more from around the senior circuit…
- Michael Cuddyer’s decision to retire caught many in the game by surprise, though as the veteran outfielder explains himself in a piece for The Players’ Tribune, “after 15 years, the toll on my body has finally caught up to me.” Cuddyer recaps his career in the piece and he gives credit to the many people who helped inspire and shape how he played the game over his impressive run in the sport.
- The Mets would like to sign two relievers, Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets, and Jerry Blevins could be one of them. The club met with Blevins’ agent during the Winter Meetings and were known to be interested in bringing the lefty back for another year in Queens.
- With four catchers on the 40-man roster, the Padres have a clear area of surplus that is likely to be used for a future trade, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The newly-acquired Christian Bethancourt joins Derek Norris, Austin Hedges and Josmil Pinto on the roster.
- Though Jameson Taillon hasn’t known a professional pitch since 2013, the Pirates prospect tells Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he’s still been developing as a professional while rehabbing from injury. “It really bugged me when I heard people say I had two lost years,” Taillon said. “Because those two lost years, I was working with the best pitching coaches, away from the drawing board, getting to refine what I was weak at. I got to work out more and get on a better eating schedule. I think that ’two lost years’ is kind of bogus, because I definitely got a lot better. I didn’t stall out by any means.” Taillon was sidelined first by Tommy John surgery and then a hernia operation but he’s aiming to be ready for his big league debut by midseason. An innings limit hasn’t yet been discussed, as GM Neal Huntington said the Bucs may need Taillon down the stretch but the club also doesn’t want to overly restrict his workload and set him back for 2017.