During the free agency winter of 2012, there is no more sought-after starting pitcher than Zack Greinke.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and an "unnamed expert source" collaborated on an article to predict what the top free agents will sign for.
Heyman believes Greinke will received six years and $150 million while his expert source agrees with the six years, he foresees a $147 million contract.
In other words, somewhere between $24.5 and $25 million annually.
According to Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto, Greinke has set his asking price:
Zack Greinke's asking price is six and $150M according to someone who knows these things. #MLB— John Perrotto (@jperrotto) November 7, 2012
Should he end up receiving that type of contract, Greinke would be one of the top five earning players in Major League Baseball. Dependent upon the structure of the contract, the only starting pitcher that could earn more in 2013 is Johan Santana.
Not bad for a player with a career 3.77 ERA and a 1.247 WHIP.
TUESDAY 11/13 UPDATE:
The New York Post's Ken Davidoff speculates that Greinke may sign with his team sooner rather than later:
Greinke is his own category. He's indisputedly the best starting pitcher available on the free-agent market. And his actual market is pretty clear: The Angels, having given up some of their best prospects to acquire him in July, badly want to retain him, while the Dodgers and Rangers figure to at least make the Angels sweat out such an ambition.
Whether Davidoff has some inside information the rest of us are not privy to remains to be seen, but it would be kind of a surprise if Greinke did not wait to see what kind of money a Kyle Lohse gets on the open market before taking the big payday himself.
With so few rumors over the weekend, it is hard to see this coming true now, but serious negotiations happen behind closed doors.
Here is the latest on his suitors.
SATURDAY 11/10 UPDATE:
The Dodgers will have organizational meetings next week in Los Angeles in hopes of formulating a plan that provides room for Hunter, while also acquiring a frontline starting pitcher. They have talked to the agents for free-agent starter Zack Greinke and Anibal Sanchez, and according to one club executive, no longer are involved in Ryan Dempster negotiations.
(H/T MLB Trade Rumors)
The Dodgers seem to have cash to burn and a play for Greinke to pitch in the very pitching-friendly National League West should come as no surprise.
Already established as a very good pitcher at big Kaufman Stadium with the Kansas City Royals, Greinke would thrive pitching half his games at Dodger Stadium.
MONDAY 11/19 UPDATE:
According to an industry insider, the Dodgers are the favorites to wind up with top free agent starter Zack Greinke, with the Angels and Rangers on the outside looking in. And no starting pitcher on the market is going to be complaining by the end of the hot stove season.
They have the money and the perfect ballpark.
If true, this is a win-win.
It is hardly a secret that the Angels want to retain Zack Greinke.
They've traded away Ervin Santana and have bought out Dan Haren to clear up some capital. The biggest issue for the Angels is the inevitable bidding war that will take place for Greinke.
Losing Haren and Santana makes it almost imperative that the Angels bring Greinke back in the fold. While they have an impressive front of the rotation already in Jered Weaver and CJ Wilson, to truly compete in an exceptionally pitching-rich AL East, a third piece like Greinke is essential.
As Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal points out, Greinke will very likely receive a massive contract, it just may come down to who can put forth the best offer, nothing more, nothing less.
Would it really be surprising to anyone to see a dark horse team like the Toronto Blue Jays sweep in and blow away Greinke with a massive contract offer?
Think about it, the Blue Jays are in arguably the toughest division in baseball without an actual ace on their staff.
If they bring in Greinke that all changes.
Fox Sports' Jon Paul Morosi points out the the Blue Jays have had their eyes set on making a splash with pitching this winter, already looking at Greinke, Anibal Sanchez and Ryan Dempster to name a few.
The issue with this signing for the Blue Jays is his history against the Jays AL East opponents. In 41 career games (32 starts) he is just 8-16 with a 4.58 ERA and a 1.358 WHIP in 205.1 innings of work.
Granted, a majority of those starts came as a member of the Kansas City Royals, which should explain pretty much everything.
The Texas Rangers would absolutely love the opportunity to steal Zack Greinke away from their division rivals.
After losing CJ Wilson to the Halos last season, turnabout would seemingly be fair play.
Sullivan points out that "In preparation for the departure of Hamilton, the Rangers are studying the idea of reinforcing the rotation with Ogando and Greinke, then addressing the critical needs of bullpen and catcher. They will likely be dealing with a payroll of around $120 million, which is approximately what they spent in 2012."
The Rangers can live without Hamilton's offense considering the emergence of Adrian Beltre as the team's offensive MVP. Adding a starter like Greinke to the mix would be scary.
As Sullivan points out, the Rangers will be cautious with their spending, but if it means acquiring a pitcher with a lifetime 2.84 ERA and 1.097 WHIP against them, that is the best form of addition by the attrition of their rivals.
This is certainly a story to keep an eye on.
FRIDAY NIGHT 11/9 UPDATE:
CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman also is reporting tonight that the Rangers are indeed interested in trying to bring Greinke into the fold.
While the baseball world is busy with the Josh Hamilton to Milwaukee rumors, it appears as though the Brew-Crew might be looking to reunite with Zack Greinke.
According to CBS Sports Jon Heyman, Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin "mentioned offhandedly he'd had a recent conversation with Greinke, the former Brewers star and the top free-agent pitcher."
Obviously money is an issue for the Brewers, but considering the fact that the team had the highest run total of any National League Team in 2012 might suggest that offense may not be the top concern this offseason.
While its only a blip on the radar, this is still a situation worth following closely.