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Dodgers considering bowing out of Zack Greinke sweepstakes

Dec 6, 2012, 6:27 PM EDT

Zack Greinke Getty Images

When the Winter Meetings began, many considered the deep-pocketed Dodgers the heavy favorites to land free agent right-hander Zack Greinke. But now that teams, players and agents have departed Nashville, his future isn’t so clear.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Greinke talks have reached a “critical stage” and the Dodgers are now considering bowing out and moving on to other pursuits. Of course, this could all be part of the negotiation process, but Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti offered a pessimistic analogy when Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles asked him whether the club was on the “doorstep” of signing Greinke.

“We’re not on the front lawn. … We’re barely out of the car at the curb. It’s better than driving around the neighborhood looking for the house. We know where the house is located. We just can’t seem to get out of the car.”

The Rangers would immediately become the favorites to sign Greinke if the Dodgers were to drop out of the bidding, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported earlier this afternoon that the Angels are still in the thick of things, despite trading for Tommy Hanson last week and signing Joe Blanton last night.

Greinke, who turned 29 in October, has a 3.77 ERA over his first nine seasons in the majors. Many have speculated that the bidding could top CC Sabathia‘s $161 million commitment for the richest contract ever given to a pitcher.

  1. iamjimmyjack - Dec 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    come on Zack, we want you here in Anaheim!

    • Jeff M. - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      I don’t see that happening. I suspect that “we’re considering bowing out” is code for “we’re about to offer him the keys to Dodger Stadium, and want everyone else thinking that we’ve moved on. Cause we’re not going to bid against ourselves.”

    • texassportsfan2 - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:41 PM

      we want him here in Texas!

  2. kardshark1 - Dec 6, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    If Brandon League is worth 8 mil a year to Colleti, then Greinke should be worth a bajillion zillion dollars a year.

    No doubt Greinke signs with Los Angeles. They have Fort Knox on steroids to spend. Only Hamilton and Greinke remain that will cost major money that they are desperately wanting to blow. And since I don’t see their big free agent signing of their richest off season ever being somebody like Kyle Lohse to prove to fans they want to win, Greinke it will be – maybe with a splash of Anibal Sanchez on the side.

    • Jeff M. - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:12 PM

      How many zeros is in a bajillion zillion, anyway?

      • kardshark1 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:25 PM

        about a gabillion

  3. fuddpucker - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Welcome to Atlanta, Zack.

    • yanmontreal - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      Welcome in montreal zach,
      We will wait for you!!

  4. Ben - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    What’s with the “critical stage” locution this year? I don’t remember it from previous years–nowhere near contending with BSOHL, but it seems to be cropping up pretty often.

  5. somekat - Dec 6, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    I like Grienke, a lot. But he is not worth the most money of any pitcher, ever. He’s a Cy candidate every year, but I don’t see him as an almost automatic W every time he’s out. The type of guy that opponents look at and say “Crap, Grienke is pitching today….at least if we win the other 2 we take the series”.

    I think the guy should get a boatload of money, but I just think it’s getting out of hand for what he’s worth (assuming the breaking the record rumors are true). I just worry about taking a guy with anxiety issues and putting that kind of pressure on him. But if he wants that much money, he wants the pressure that comes along with it

    • jeru523 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:21 PM

      Totally agree with u…he’s a very good pitcher, but is he top notch Veerlander, Sabathia, Weaver, Cain, Kershaw level? Hell no! He happened to be on the market where he’s the biggest fish on the lake. He’s worth about 15 mill a year and not a penny more…he’s a true #2 pitcher, not a #1….then his anxiety issues…..that’s a major red flag! Contract should be incentive laced!

      • thereisaparty - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:39 PM

        To quote Russell A. Carlton (Ph.D. in behavioral psychology): It’s possible that what triggered Greinke’s SAD was related to his pitching. It’s also possible that it had nothing to do with baseball. Remember that while we often see these men only in their roles as baseball players, they also have lives to live. To my knowledge, Mr. Greinke has chosen to keep the details of his struggle against anxiety and depression private (and that’s his right), so before you write him off as damaged goods on the mound, consider that you’re dealing with variables about which you know not.

      • thevauntedchris - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:34 PM

        Probably not the popular answer, but I don’t put Sabathia on that level you mention. And I’m a Yankees fan. There’s Verlander, Kershaw, maybe Weaver and everyone else right now. Regardless of if I’m missing someone, it isn’t Sabathia. Now to your real point, I still wouldn’t trade Sabathia for Greinke..contracts being fairly close.

  6. joerymi - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    If you are looking at a 50% luxury tax in 2 seasons, you might as well go all-in. Paying an obscene payroll penalty is silly if you aren’t even going to the playoffs.

  7. angrycorgi - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:41 PM

    It’s simple really. Greinke liked the Rangers meeting with the management and due to the highest state income taxes in the US being in Cali, the Dodgers or Angels will have to bid 15% OVER Texas’ bid just to match. Rangers bid 140M/7, then Cali teams would have to bid higher than 161M/7 to beat it. Economics are the Rangers fans’ best friend right now.

    • texassportsfan2 - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      yep, no state income tax is a big draw to Texas….espec when you make as much as these guys do

    • jwbiii - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:41 AM

      angrycorgi, It doesn’t quite work like that. States have enacted “jock taxes” so athletes pay taxes in the states where they earn their money. This is done on a per day basis. Since we really don’t know where they spend their off days, games scheduled is a reasonable approximation. So it’s more like this:

      81 G in Arlington Sal x 81/182 x 0%
      9 G in Houston Sal x 9/162 x 0%
      9 G in Seattle Sal x 9/162 x 0%
      9 G in Anaheim Sal x 9/162 x 9% (assume the top marginal tax rate is close enough to the effective tax rate)
      9 G in Oakland Sal x 9/162 x 9%
      3 G in Chicago Sal x 3/162 x 5%
      etc.

      There is a difference, but it’s nowhere near 15%.

      This effects entertainers, too. An act pays a higher tax rate to play a show in Newark’s Prudential Center than in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

      • jwbiii - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        (assume the top marginal tax rate is close enough to the effective tax rate)

        By the way, this assumption is only valid for very highly paid players in states with progressive taxes. A player making the minimum who only plays a three games series in a state earns about $9,100 and presumably would pay no tax there.

      • fredverd - Dec 7, 2012 at 12:00 PM

        And the accountant that came up with that out-of-the-box idea (athletes pay taxes in cities where they actually earn the money) should have gotten a bonus he could retire on…living on his own island…!

  8. loungefly74 - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    Dear Zack…please do not deal with the Dodgers and stay in the “far superior” AL. Thanks!…signed…a Giants fan.

  9. beelza - Dec 7, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    @thereisaparty…Absolutely need to know information, thanks. Huge red flag with Greinke. Now, what is the huge red flag with Justin Upton? Everything Justin has, that we know of, points to him being highly coveted, yet Arizona has been trying to move this dude for a long time.

    • mikefoxtrot - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:57 PM

      problem with Upton is that he manages to take enormous talent and use to turn out not much more above-average results….and his contract is about to become a great deal more than above-average costly.

  10. mikefoxtrot - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    anybody willing to give Greinke a contract larger than Sabathia’s is welcome to him.

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