Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Is the field narrowing for Zack Greinke?
By Mark Saxon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The best thing to happen to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Day 3 of the winter meetings was what one of their competitors did -- or won't do -- and that's not uncommon this time of year.
The Los Angeles Angels reached agreement with Joe Blanton, reportedly for two years and $15 million, and that -- plus their trade for Atlanta's Tommy Hanson -- would seem to indicate they're moving away from a mega-deal with free agent Zack Greinke. The floor, at least for now, appears to be a two-team dance between the Dodgers and Texas Rangers.
Not that Greinke's agent doesn't continue to wait to see if others want to cut in.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti met with Greinke's agent, Casey Close on Wednesday and, unlike the day before, Colletti wouldn't say whether he has extended an offer. That lack of comment in itself could be meaningful.
"I can't tell you we have any movement, I can't tell you we're close to anything," Colletti said. "A lot of groups, including some of the bigger names out there, are still doing due diligence and not necessarily in a mood to do anything."
The Dodgers have shelved some of their other business to concentrate on starting pitching. On Wednesday that meant one of the pitchers they were considering for their bullpen signed elsewhere. The Dodgers discussed re-signing lefty Randy Choate, but shied away when Choate asked for a three-year deal and a hefty raise. He got both by signing Wednesday with the St. Louis Cardinals for $7.5 million.
The Dodgers also have made no appreciable progress in signing Korean lefty Ryu Hyun-jin, who will return to pitch in Korea if he doesn't come to an agreement by 2 p.m. Sunday. Agent Scott Boras said he made a counteroffer to the Dodgers of shorter duration. But asked if that got the sides any closer, Colletti said, "No, we just got closer to Sunday."
The Dodgers are looking to add a catcher before spring training, but Colletti indicated they're setting their sights on backup types who could offer competition to rookie Tim Federowicz. The Dodgers are content with A.J. Ellis as their No. 1 catcher.
Some have speculated that Greinke would prefer not to pitch in Los Angeles because of the size of the city and the media attention, but Colletti said he hasn't been told by any free agents that they don't want to pitch in L.A.
"We're not going to try to convince anybody this is a great place and a great city and a great ownership," Colletti said. "If they don't want to be part of it, we're not going to convince them."
Day 3 progress: Scant
Wish list: Starting pitcher(s); left-handed reliever; fourth outfielder; catcher