Zack Greinke of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2012 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
In an ongoing series, we'll take a look at possible free-agent and trade targets for the Texas Rangers this winter.
Target: Zack Greinke, RHP
Type of move: Free agency
2012 stats: 15-5, 3.48 ERA (split between MIL and LAA), 34 starts, 212 1/3 innings, 200 Ks, 54 walks.
Greinke is without a doubt the alpha dog of the free agent pitching market this winter, and probably the entire free agent market. And it's going to be a nice, juicy battle between the Los Angeles Angels, who traded for Greinke at the deadline, and their archrival Texas Rangers. In fact, it's been reported by several outlets that Greinke has basically said it's going to come down to either returning to the Angels or heading to Texas. It's going to cost a lot of money, and a lot of years to land the 29-year-old, and the Rangers have to go into this understanding that.
Signing Greinke would do two things — it would give the Rangers a No. 1 or at worst, a 1a at the top of their rotation with Yu Darvish, and it would also take Greinke out of the beefy rotation in Anaheim, which includes fellow No. 1 Jered Weaver along with C.J. Wilson. Greinke is a former Cy Young Award winner (2009). He's also a guy that dealt with documented anxiety issues, which is something he seems to have worked past. Greinke was phenomenal for the Angels down the stretch after being acquired at the deadline, putting to rest any doubt he could pitch in an AL pennant race after spending his earlier years on an AL team that struggled to win 70 games in Kansas City, where he won the Cy Young.
There's risks here, but ultimately, it might be the best move the Rangers can make this winter, though it will cost them at least one arm, and possibly one leg.