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MLB Free Agency: 6 Pitchers Who Will Be Affected Most by Zack Greinke's New Deal

Ely SussmanCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2016

MLB Free Agency: 6 Pitchers Who Will Be Affected Most by Zack Greinke's New Deal

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    When Zack Greinke completes his record-breaking deal this winter, it will affect other top MLB free agents. Where he signs—and for how much—determines the futures of other available pitchers.

    The 29-year-old might commit during this week's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers are his top suitors, while the Los Angeles Angels remain in the hunt (via Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times).

    For various reasons, these prominent arms have a lot riding on Greinke's decision.

Tim Lincecum

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    With a strong bounce-back year, Tim Lincecum could be in Zack Greinke's position next winter as the consensus No. 1 MLB free agent.

    He's likewise a former Cy Young Award winner under 30 years old with a durable reputation. His representation will attempt to use postseason success, strikeout rate and marketability to one-up Greinke.

    Lincecum wants mystery teams to engage in a Greinke bidding war with the aforementioned suitors. That way, he can shoot for a $200 million guarantee.

Ryu Hyun-jin

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    Agent Scott Boras is negotiating with the Los Angeles Dodgers on behalf of Ryu Hyun-jin. The two sides exchanged contract offers at the winter meetings, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.

    The southpaw will return to the Korea Baseball Organization for at least another season if Boras doesn't get a deal completed this week

    CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that there's no budget for baseball's highest spenders. Signing Zack Greinke and Ryu remains a possibility.

    However, the Dodgers already have six established starting pitchers on their 40-man roster. The likelihood of the foreign stud debuting in the United States in 2013 is much slimmer if Greinke adds to that surplus.

Rafael Soriano

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    Jim Bowden of SirusXM doesn't rule out the Los Angeles Dodgers as a "possible landing spot" for Rafael Soriano.

    The Los Angeles Angels could be interested, too. They lost Jordan Walden, a hard-throwing bullpen arm, to the Atlanta Braves last month. Though Ryan Madson is under contract, there's doubt that he'll be ready for Opening Day (Tommy John surgery).

    If either L.A. team misses out on Greinke, they may go after Soriano instead to bolster their pitching staff. 

Kyle Lohse

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    The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best odds of signing Zack Greinke in my estimation, but no match is inevitable.

    Consider Kyle Lohse a fallback option, tweets Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

    Pitching is evidently a high priority for the Dodgers. They set aside $22.5 million for reliever Brandon League in late October and continue to talk with/about the top starters.

    Lohse (30-11, 3.11 ERA, 1.13 WHIP since 2011) will get ample attention this offseason, but he's rooting against Los Angeles in the Greinke sweepstakes. Desperation to lock up a successful veteran would lead the club to overpay for the 34-year-old.

Edwin Jackson

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    Edwin Jackson has virtually no chance of securing a nine-figure deal. He lacks Zack Greinke's statistics and hardware.

    However, closer examination reveals that the two right-handers have plenty in common. Just look at their birth dates and professional workloads, their fastball usage and velocity (via FanGraphs).

    Jackson might only get half the annual salary, but why not equal length?

    He'll wait to hear how many years Greinke gets and request the same from remaining buyers.

Anibal Sanchez

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    Starting pitchers that struggle/don't compete in the American League and postseason settle for lesser free-agent deals.

    So for Anibal Sanchez, the Miami Marlins roster makeover began at the perfect time.

    The Fish shipped him to the Detroit Tigers in July of his contract year. Sanchez received enough opportunities down the stretch to adjust. Strong performances in September and October have positioned him as the best alternative to Zack Greinke.

    MLB teams are agreeing to generous terms this winter. Run-of-the-mill Jeremy Guthrie and aging Andy Pettitte, for example, signed for $25 million (three years) and $12 million (one year), respectively.

    Albeit the early action is encouraging, Zack Greinke bears a much closer resemblance to Sanchez in terms of age and expectations.

    The prized Venezuelan feels affected—dare I say controlled—by the Greinke situation.

     

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