Multiple MLB executives have said that starting pitcher Zack Greinke will get a deal that could make him the highest paid right-handed pitcher in baseball history. Greinke could reportedly get a contract as much as $25 million per year for $150 million total. This means the chances of the Milwaukee Brewers bringing back their beloved starter are slim to none.
Greinke is by far the most talented free agent pitcher available. Add to that the fact that multiple big market teams are in desperate need of a starting pitcher and we get one of the biggest paydays baseball has ever seen. If there was more talent on the market and several top tier starters did not already sign big contracts, Greinke would never see the kind of money he will get in December.
San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain hurt Milwaukee’s chances of re-signing Greinke in spring training when he inked a deal worth $127.5 million over six years, which set the record for salary for right-handers. The Philadelphia Phillies basically guaranteed the Brewers to have no shot at Greinke after they took Cole Hamels off the market. Hamels’ $144 million contract set the record for highest per-season salary at $24 million a year. Fans in Milwaukee fully understand how it works as they were the victim of the New York Yankees making left-hander C.C. Sabathia the highest paid pitcher of all time with a seven-year, $161 million deal.
There are several teams that have the financial capability to place a bid for Greinke, but unfortunately, the Brewers are not one of them. Many people in Milwaukee thought there was a very good chance the team would be able to bring Greinke back next season and get a starting shortstop with two top pitching prospects on top of it.
Fans have even gone as far as to say Greinke agreed to the trade so the Brewers could get one last piece to the puzzle before he returned to make them contenders in 2013. Unfortunately, those are all false hopes as there is no chance Greinke will turn down a $150 million offer to stay in Milwaukee, even if he thoroughly enjoyed his time with the organization.
The Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers appear to be the big American League players in the Greinke sweepstakes, while the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers will make a play as well. The Angels have stated they will not go above Jared Weaver’s $85 million deal, but that could certainly change quickly if the Rangers are all in.
The Braves need a game changer to get above the Washington Nationals in the NL East as Atlanta will do whatever it takes to finally take their regular season success deep into the playoffs. The Dodgers have spent enough money to become contenders after their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox this past season. The enormous television contract that they are about to sign will only fuel the desire to acquire Greinke.
It is unfortunate that a small market team with a die-hard fan base will have to watch another Cy Young Award winner fall through their grasp once again. There is certainly a chance Greinke could still come back to Milwaukee, but all signs point to him inking a deal with a contender that has pockets full of cash.
Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.