Zack Greinke Rumors: Updating Every Suitor's Odds of Landing the Ace Pitcher
Last week, I set the odds for each team to land the prized hitter of the free-agent market in Josh Hamilton.
This week, we'll take a look at the top arm on the market in Zack Greinke, who is coming off a season that saw him go 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA and get traded from the Brewers to the Angels at the deadline.
According to a tweet from John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus, Greinke is seeking a six-year, $150 million deal this offseason. That would put him ahead of CC Sabathia as the highest-paid pitcher in all of baseball.
While Greinke is a terrific pitcher, his battles with social-anxiety disorder (h/t Sports Illustrated) remain at least a small red flag for any team considering investing that type of money in him.
Fellow Bleacher Report writer Benjamin Klein has been tracking rumors surrounding the season's top 100 free agents, and he names the Angels, Dodgers, Rangers and Blue Jays as teams rumored to be pursuing the right-hander.
As for dark-horse teams, B/R writer Rick Weiner put together a piece exploring five dark-horse teams that could sign Greinke, and along with the aforementioned Blue Jays, he includes the Brewers, Nationals, Twins and Orioles.
Perhaps the darkest of horses would be Greinke's former team, the Kansas City Royals, and back in July, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman wrote on a potential reunion between the two sides.
Los Angeles Dodgers: 3/1
Los Angeles Angels: 7/2
Texas Rangers: 8/1
Toronto Blue Jays: 18/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 20/1
Baltimore Orioles: 30/1
Minnesota Twins: 40/1
Washington Nationals: 40/1
Kansas City Royals: 100/1
As of now, it appears as though it will come down to which Los Angeles team is willing to pay Greinke more. CBSSports.com named the Angels as favorites early in November, but that was changed recently to name the Dodgers favorites instead.
The Dodgers are searching for a veteran starter to slot behind Clayton Kershaw in their rotation, and seeing as the team has a seemingly endless flow of cash of late, it is understandable that they would be considered favorites.
The Angels, on the other hand, cut ties with Ervin Santana and Dan Haren already this offseason and will need to fill out their rotation one way or another behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. There may be more of a sense of urgency to sign Greinke on the Angels' side of things.
Lurking in the background is the Rangers, who have a solid pool of starting pitcher from which to assemble a rotation but lack a true staff ace at this point to anchor the duo of Yu Darvish and Matt Harrison atop the rotation. They have money to spend with the departure of Hamilton and others.
Where Will Zack Greinke Sign?
Everyone else is a long shot to sign him at this point, but given how their offseason has shaken out to this point, I don't think anyone would be completely shocked if the Blue Jays came out of nowhere and blew Greinke away with an offer.
The Brewers are also a viable long-shot option, as they made a solid run after trading Greinke at the deadline thanks to their potent offense, and they may now rethink rebuilding just yet and again try to gear up for a postseason run.
Baltimore achieved the success they did last season largely on the strength of developing their own talent, but they did show a willingness to spend big in locking up center fielder Adam Jones on a six-year, $85.5 million extension. Greinke would give them the staff ace they are lacking and would certainly keep them in the running in a deep AL East.
The Twins are desperate for starting pitching of any kind, but it is hard to envision them spending so much on Greinke when they are a team that is far from one piece away from contending.
In Washington, the Nationals need a replacement for Edwin Jackson in their rotation, and they nearly landed Greinke two years ago in a trade. A rotation of Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Greinke is a fun thought, but it seems more likely they'll pursue a fifth-starter type.
Finally, the team that Greinke called home for the first seven years of his career and the site of his 2009 Cy Young award, Kansas City, could be a completely different team with Greinke back on board. They aren't the type of franchise to make $100-million commitments, but if ever there was a player they were going to do it with, Greinke could be the guy.
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