Zack Greinke Rumors: Latest News on Free Agent SP as Winter Meetings Begin

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 30: Zack Greinke #23 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches in game one of the double header against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 30, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Major League Baseball's annual winter meetings began on Monday. One of the biggest names on the free-agent market is ace Zack Greinke, who is unsurprisingly drawing plenty of interest as teams around the league look to solidify their rotations.

Greinke went 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA last season, so it's no surprise that several storylines have emerged over the past couple days as teams prepare to make their pitch to him. Let's take a glance at some of the latest updates on his status as the sweepstakes continue.

Dodgers Early Favorite

The Los Angeles Dodgers have shown that they are willing to spend big money to transform the team into a contender. They need another front-end starting pitching to pair with Clayton Kershaw atop the rotation, and Greinke certainly fits the bill.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Dodgers aren't going to let money stand in their way of landing the best starter on the market. He believes that the only way Greinke doesn't end up signing with them is if he prefers a certain situation more than the size of the deal.

Greinke and Kershaw would give the Dodgers as formidable of a one-two punch as there is in baseball. It would also give them a better chance of keeping pace with the pitching-rich San Francisco Giants. That equals more dollar signs for Greinke.

Rangers Making Charge

Even though it appears that a team would have to get ready for quite a battle if it wants to beat out the Dodgers, it hasn't stopped others from showing interest. The Texas Rangers, who need more pitching to match their deep offense, would be a good fit.

A report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggests that the Rangers are more involved than previously thought. He states that Texas is also willing to spend big bucks in order to lure Greinke, placing the Rangers in the same category as Los Angeles.

A vast majority of Greinke's career starts have come in the American League, with the only exception being a stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. If comfort factor comes into play like Heyman suggests, that could be an advantage for Texas.

Nationals In Mix

The other team most often mentioned with Greinke over the past few days has been the Washington Nationals. After winning the NL East last season, they are looking to add even more talent alongside Stephen Strasburg and Co.

CBS Sports' Danny Knobler reported that the Nationals are working hard to land another starter, targeting several available options, including Greinke. He mentions trading for James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays as another option.

Strasburg should be well rested after getting shut down early last season. The Nationals also have Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann coming off of solid seasons. Add Greinke to the mix, and they would have an extremely deep, talented rotation.