As we get into the thick of the Winter Meetings in Nashville, all of baseball, it seems, is waiting for the top pitching free agent to sign before other dominos begin to drop.
That, of course, is Zack Greinke, formerly of the Los Angeles Angels, Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals, who won the AL Cy Young back in 2009 with the Royals. The Angels, who acquired Greinke at July's trade deadline, were certainly going to be in the mix to hold on to him, especially after they parted ways with starting pitchers Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, but now it seems to be between two teams to get Greinke's services — your Texas Rangers and the cash-rich Los Angeles Dodgers.
Yup, the two teams who the Angels compete with most — one for the SoCal market and the other for the AL West.
Greinke is pretty much setting the starting pitching market for this offseason, and one agent (not Greinke's) told CBS Sports' Jon Heyman that he thinks the right-hander will get 7 years for $175 million. If that's the case, that takes the Rangers out of the running, at least you'd hope.
The Rangers wouldn't go beyond five years for Cliff Lee, and Greinke is not what Lee was back in 2010. Greinke is a very good starting pitcher, and would move to the front of the Rangers' rotation either just ahead of or just behind Yu Darvish, but I'm not sure he's a bona fide ace worth that kind of money.
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan said the Rangers are "quietly saying" that Grienke will end up signing with the Dodgers, who seem to have no issues with throwing tons of money at tons of people under their new ownership and with a multi-billion dollar TV deal on the horizon.
Seems to me it would be more in the Rangers interest to let the Dodgers throw piles of cash at Greinke and go use some their trade pieces to get someone like Tampa Bay's James Shields, who is said to be available, or NL Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, who the Mets are also shopping.