Tuesday morning…Greinke, catching, Oliver
Random rumblings one week before the Winter Meetings…
The Dodgers may not be as strong on Zack Greinke as everybody believes. They may go to Nashville and try to trade for a starting pitcher rather than sign Greinke. If that’s the case, the Rangers could push their way into the driver’s seat for Greinke if they are willing to go six years at $20-25 million annually. Some think Greinke wants to be on the West Coast and the Angels are still in play.
The Blue Jays are talking about beginning the season with J.P. Arencibia as their starting catcher, John Buck as his backup and top prospect Travis D’Arnaud, who is coming off surgery, in Triple A. They may not be eager to trade a catcher. But they also have Bobby Wilson. So if they get the right offer for Arencibia, they could be willing to do it while starting the season with Buck as the starter and Wilson as the backup.
The Blue Jays exercised their option on left-handed reliever Darren Oliver at $3 million for 2013. They did that a month ago. Oliver is still likely to retire in order to be with his family and his home in Tarrant County. But he might still play one more year if the Blue Jays are willing to trade him to the Rangers.
Length of contract is always huge in negotiations and will be with the Rangers and Mike Napoli. The Rangers don’t seem to be willing to go more than two years and Napoli is looking for a four-year deal.
The Rangers don’t seem to be that hot on Shane Victorino and there are mixed feelings on B.J. Upton, who could end up in Atlanta by the end of the week. If the Rangers can’t re-sign Josh Hamilton, then Nick Swisher could be their best alternative to reinforce the lineup while Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry platoon in center field.
The Twins aren’t looking to move outfielder Josh Willingham but have to consider everything in order to get better. The Rangers would be interested.
A number of baseball officials said Monday they are surprised how quiet it is concerning outfielder Josh Hamilton. But one reason is his agent Michael Moye is maybe the best at not leaking information to the media. Executives think that the Brewers, Red Sox and Mariners are likely to be the prime pursuers.
One source said some agents will likely push hard to get their clients signed this week before the winter meetings get started. The concern is once clubs start gathering in Nashville and start talking trades, the demand for free agents could weaken to some degree.