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Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Lobby talk: One less Zack Greinke suitor?

By Richard Durrett

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There are various reports that say the Washington Nationals have agreed to terms on a one-year deal for Dan Haren worth $13 million, pending a physical. If true, that likely takes the Nationals, a team that we've seen from past Winter Meetings that is willing to spend some money, out of the running for Zack Greinke.

Reducing the market for the top free agent on the market can only help the Rangers. The club remains interested and was expected to meet with agent Casey Close here in Nashville (they may have already met). Everywhere you turn, you hear about the Los Angeles Dodgers as if they've got their checkbook and are just waiting to know what numbers to fill in for Greinke. But I wonder if that's not overblown. And I wonder, too, if Greinke will consider other options as well. Obviously, if the Dodgers were to get to a number of years (like seven, for instance) that is above anyone else, that changes the game. But what if the offers are similar? The Rangers are a contending team, Greinke wants to play for a winner and he's performed well at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in his career.

While the Rangers have ownership with deep pockets and a lucrative television deal, they also pride themselves on making smart financial choices. A long-term contract that isn't good can still handcuff them in other ways. So we'll see how far they're willing to go for Greinke, who would be at the top of the rotation with Yu Darvish if he came here.

Ray Davis, co-chairman of the board, is scheduled to arrive in Nashville at some point this afternoon. At the very least, that would put an owner in the room as the Rangers discuss options (and if they wanted to meet with some folks). It could also give them a better idea of what they can spend.

Other things seen and heard in the lobby:

* The Rangers have checked in on Dustin Moseley, another low risk-high reward guy who is coming off Tommy John surgery. It's unclear when Moseley could return and whether a Joakim Soria deal with Texas would make them less likely to consider him. He had surgery in April after posting a 3.30 ERA in 120 innings (20 starts) in 2011 with the San Diego Padres. He's from Texarkana, Texas.

* Catching continues to be on the club's list. A.J. Pierzynski is the most attractive free agent, but may be too pricey. Miguel Olivo is on the club's radar as is Kelly Shoppach and the surplus of catchers in Toronto.

* There are some who think the Rangers could still afford both Josh Hamilton and Greinke, but that likely depends on the market for Hamilton.

* I was told that the Rangers really doesn't have a ton of interest in Adam LaRoche, despite some reports saying they're in on him.