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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Lobby talk: Outfield, pitching options

By Richard Durrett

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It seems like all of the activity in the lobby today is more about waiting to see whether Zack Greinke will make a decision before these meetings are over, or if that will carry into next week or later. Once Greinke makes a call, it should allow some other things to come together. But until then, chatter continues. A few things seen and heard:

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ESPN Dallas' Richard Durrett explains that once Zack Greinke signs with a team, things will start to fall into place with the rest of the baseball market.

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* The Rangers' interest in Justin Upton is high, though it seems that the Diamondbacks haven't backed off their insistence on a shortstop in any deal for him. Perhaps the three- or four-team trade that has been talked about all day on Twitter involving the Indians, Rangers, Rays and Diamondbacks (or perhaps the Royals in place of one of those teams) can help facilitate that. There is still a sense that the deal may be too difficult to pull off, but you never know.

* Texas doesn't want to part with Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar, but would Mike Olt and a pitching prospect, like Martin Perez, be enough to get Upton in a three-team deal? There's talk in the lobby about one involving the Cleveland Indians, who would send Asdrubal Cabrera to Arizona, who would send Upton to the Rangers and get Rangers prospects back. Again, it's tough enough to make a two-team trade, let alone three. And the deal may involve more players, which only complicates things.

* I had three different officials from other teams tell me they feel that Upton would mesh well with manager Ron Washington. They think Washington's style would be good for Upton and that the Rangers could get a lot out of him. Texas feels like he has high upside and that he'd thrive in Arlington.

* Texas likes R.A. Dickey and is interested in trading for him if the New York Mets don't think they can sign him to an extension. It appears things are slow on the extension front, but there's been some reports today that it's inching forward. But at $5 million for 2013, Dickey would be a big boost to the rotation and someone who likes Texas. The club could even try to negotiate an extension.

* James Shields is also attractive, but word in the lobby is the price is still high for him. One official with another club told me they aren't sure the Rays will actually deal him. They may want to be wowed. But until Greinke signs somewhere, the Rangers aren't ready to talk about wowing them.

* It doesn't seem like there's a lot of movement on the catching front.