On Tuesday, TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported the sides are talking during the MLB winter meetings in Orlando, Florida, but noted no deal is imminent. Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram added additional details on how a possible deal would go down:
Jeff Wilson @JeffWilson_FWST
Confirming @Sullivan_Ranger report on #Rangers' interest in Zack Greinke. The Rangers would need the deal with Arizona to include Shin-Soo Choo and the $63 million he's owed the next three seasons to offset the $138.5 million owed to Greinke the next four.2017-12-13 01:13:58
Greinke's current contract does not include a full no-trade clause, per ESPN's Buster Olney, who added the Rangers are not on his 15-team no-trade list.
Greinke is coming off a strong 2017 campaign in which he posted a 3.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 215 strikeouts in 202.1 innings. His resurgence, following an up-and-down 2016 season (4.37 ERA), was a key reason Arizona earned a wild-card berth.
The 34-year-old Orlando native compiled a microscopic 1.66 ERA with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015 and won the American League Cy Young Award with the Kansas City Royals in 2009.
While the winter meetings are a popular place to toss around ideas, seeing Greinke's name pop up in the rumor mill was a bit of a surprise. Along with his spot atop the Arizona rotation, he's got four seasons left on a monster six-year, $206.5 million contract.
The Rangers could be shooting for the stars, though. General manager Jon Daniels said Sunday the team would consider chasing a front-line starter if the price was right.
"If there is a starter that fits [the elite] description and fits our club short- and long-term, we'd consider that," he told reporters. "But the most dangerous thing you can do is make a move with headlines in mind."
Greinke would join Cole Hamels to create a dynamic one-two punch in Texas. A blockbuster trade getting done is a long shot, however, in large part because of his contract and Arizona's likely hope to remain a contender in 2018 and beyond.