News came out Tuesday that free agent starter Zack Greinke will not re-sign with the Los Angeles Angels, which now leaves the L.A. Dodgers and the Texas Rangers as the veteran righty’s top suitors.
Greinke is seen as the top pitcher in a sparse free agent market this winter, and the Dodgers new owners have already showed the willingness to spend when they put up $25.7 million just to negotiate with Korean lefty Ryu Hyun-jin.
There is no question perennial Cy-Young candidate Clayton Kershaw is the club’s No. 1 starter, but L.A. needs a solid No. 2 in their rotation behind him, and Greinke could be the answer. The 29-year-old Greinke went 6-2 in 13 starts for the Angels last season, with a 3.53 ERA after he was traded from Milwaukee.
He signed a 4-year $38 million in 2009, but he reportedly is asking for much more. According to CBS Sports, a seven-year deal worth $140 to $150 million could be in the making.
Injuries to starters Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley have wearkened the Dodgers' rotation significantly. Lilly had arthroscopic surgery on his pitching shoulder in September, and it is unclear when the 37-year-old will return. Billingsley injured his elbow, and the Dodgers were initially worried he would need Tommy John surgery, but thankfully no surgery was required and he is currently rehabbing in Arizona, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez and St. Louis’s Kyle Lohse are also options. Sanchez is reportedly looking for a five to six year deal in the range of $75 to $90 million, while Lohse turned down a one-year qualifying offer of $13.5 million earlier this month.
Lohse had the the best winning percentage in the NL last season, and also led the league with 33 starts. Sanchez was an unimpressive 9-13 last year, but he’s averaged 195 innings a season over the last three years, and had a 1.77 ERA in three starts during the playoffs.
There is even speculation that the Dodgers are amassing arms to make a trade for another top starter like James Shields, Felix Hernandez, or Cliff Lee.
Should L.A. bring in Greinke, and come to terms with Sanchez, Lohse, or Ryu, they can create a sizable and tempting package for one of league’s aces in Hernandez, Lee, or Shields, according to Dodgers.com.