“It’s possible this is the Diamondbacks’ last, best chance to get real value for [Zack] Greinke,” Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes in a piece detailing the team’s difficult position this winter. With Greinke still owed $138.5MM through 2021 and taking up an inordinately large piece of Arizona’s payroll, the D’Backs are hard-pressed to to augment a roster that made a surprise run to the NLDS last year. Dealing Greinke may be the better long-term move, though it would hurt the team’s chances of capitalizing on its sudden contender status. Greinke had a down year in 2016 and just turned 34 in October, so it isn’t quite clear if his big 2017 season represented a return to form or perhaps a last hurrah before he begins to decline. The Yankees, Rangers, and Phillies have all checked in on Greinke this winter, so there’s certainly interest if Greinke was made available, though GM Mike Hazen will have a tough needle to thread in finding an acceptable trade match in both salary coverage and MLB-ready talent coming back to Arizona.
Here’s more from around baseball…
- C.J. Cron has been the subject of trade speculation, though if the Angels do try to deal the first baseman, MLB.com’s Maria Guardado doesn’t expect it to happen prior to Spring Training. Los Angeles will want to see if Albert Pujols is a viable option to regularly play first base, as the plan is for Pujols to spend time in the field so Shohei Ohtani can get some DH at-bats. Pujols’ history of foot problems, however, means that Cron (and Luis Valbuena) could be necessary depth pieces for the Halos.
- While the Reds were looking for one-year deals for relievers, they were comfortable enough with Jared Hughes’ track record to sign the righty to a two-year deal, general manager Dick Williams tells Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Williams feels Hughes adds some needed veteran experience to a Reds bullpen that struggled badly in 2017, and the GM didn’t close the door on his team acquiring another veteran reliever before the winter is over.
- The Indians will face a tall order in trying to extend Cody Allen or Andrew Miller before either reliever hits free agency next winter, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian writes as part of a reader mailbag. Allen is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, while Miller is finishing up the four-year, $36MM deal he originally signed with the Yankees in December 2014. Given the large contracts that relievers have been landing this offseason, a smaller-payroll team like Cleveland doesn’t seem like a candidate to re-sign either pitcher, nor to spend the big money it would take to get Allen or Miller to forego the open market and ink an extension.