David Price, the MLB's top free agent this offseason, reportedly signed a seven-year, $217 million deal with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. Next up: Zack Greinke. Rumors suggest the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants are leading the pack in pursuit of the right-hander.
Shortly after Price inked his deal yesterday, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick had some insight regarding Greinke's status and contract demands.
Sources say Greinke is looking for a 5 or 6 yr deal. He wants AAV above Price. That means $31.5M or $32M a year.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 1, 2015
Greinke, 32, is the next most sought-after free agent after his Cy Young-caliber campaign in 2015. Price's contract will certainly help Greinke's cause since the right-hander had the best season of any MLB pitcher and is being pursued by two (or more) big market clubs with plenty of money to spend.
In fact, the talks are intensifying to the point where Magic Johnson has publicly spoken about the team's endeavors to retain Greinke.
"He is our priority - our No. 1 priority in the off-season," Johnson told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. "We are going to put in our bid, just like I'm sure other teams will. He's our priority. We like that 1-2 punch that we have with him and Clayton [Kershaw].
"So we have a lot of resources, yes, and we are using those resources to make our team better."
Johnson also told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com that owner Mark Walter is involved in the negotiations with Greinke.
Late last night ESPN Insider Jim Bowden reported that Greinke could make a decision and sign within the next 48 hours, which means the top two free agents could be off the board before the Winter Meetings.
Both the Dodgers and Giants have the resources to land Greinke, but at this point it's unknown what the right-hander is thinking in terms of signing his final long-term deal. Over the past few seasons the Dodgers have failed to reach the World Series despite having good rosters and an enormous payroll. On the other hand, the Giants have claimed three out of the past six world championships and could be poised for another run in 2016 if they can stay healthy and address the few weaknesses on their club.
Greinke had comments regarding the Dodgers offseason moves last year, for which he sounded displeased. Additionally, he's reportedly been involved in altercations with the controversial Yasiel Puig and that may also play a role in his decision making. Greinke was also said to be a fan of manager Don Mattingly, who was dismissed and left for the Marlins. The Dodgers recently hired Dave Roberts as their next manager and it's possible Greinke would rather not deal with more transitioning in Los Angeles.
Stay tuned for updates on Greinke's decision, which could come in the next day or two.