MLB: Free Agent Peek, Zack Greinke
With players filing for free agency and eligible to begin speaking with other clubs on Saturday at 12:01 AM ET, let’s take a look at the top pitcher on the market.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim went all out last offseason, with the signing of slugger Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J.Wilson. The Angels continued their aggressiveness near the non-waiver July trade deadline, acquiring former American League Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke, from the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 29 year old Greinke struggled at first with the Angels, but picked it up down the stretch. Unfortunately, the Angels still missed out on a postseason berth. Although, Greinke’s strong effort with the club helped show that the talented right-hander can pitch in a big market.The Angels are expected to decline the options and buy out the final year of the contracts for starting pitchers, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana, in order to help offer Greinke a mega deal. There are also rumblings that the Angels are looking to trade Haren and Santana this week, before they need to make a decision on picking up their options.
The Angels are sure to be at the top of Greinke’s list of suitors, which should also include their cross town rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers of course are still more than willing to spend, although the organization has acknowledged that “pitchers do break.” That being said, Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti, has mentioned the club will be looking for pitching this offseason. They need a top line starter to slot in behind ace Clayton Kershaw, especially with a potential surgery coming for Chad Billingsley. Perhaps the Dodgers pass on Greinke, and his potential long term contract length, and opt to try and bring back former Dodger pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda, and/or possibly take a flyer on Jake Peavy. Peavy, pitched very well last year with the Chicago White Sox, after battling injuries in the past. Due to Kuroda’s age and Peavy’s injury history, both will be getting much shorter term deals than what Greinke will be getting. True, it comes with risk when you factor age and injury concerns, but the risk might be worth it when the term is only for a year or two in Kuroda’s case, and possibly no more than three years for Peavy. If this is the case and the Dodgers don’t go all out for Greinke, then the Angels should control the Greinke sweepstakes. There will be a few other clubs interested, perhaps the Texas Rangers, and of course there are always those mystery teams, but it appears at this point one way, or another, that Greinke will stay in Southern California.
Prediction : Signs a 6 or 7 year deal, worth $150 million plus, with the Angels.