Winter Meetings 2012: Texas Rangers Are Front Runners for Zack Greinke

By Michael Terrill
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers have become the front runners for Zack Greinke and are close to locking down the free-agent starting pitcher. Do the Rangers have what it takes to close out the deal?

The Los Angeles Angels “are prepared to move on from Greinke” according to general manager Jerry Dipoto. Apparently, the Angels do not have enough cash to compete with a $160 million contract that Greinke is rumored to get.

The other team that goes by a similar name, the Los Angeles Dodgers, still appear to be in on the Greinke sweepstakes but the Rangers are reported to have the inside track. Los Angeles and Texas are in a deep bidding war that could potentially make Greinke the highest paid pitcher of all time, eclipsing C.C. Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million contract, when it is all said and done.

The Rangers are prepared to go to great lengths to sign Greinke and move on from slugger Josh Hamilton. The fact of the matter is the team cannot afford both players, as each superstar could command a minimum of a $170 million each. Texas is determined to acquire Greinke because of the right-hander’s great potential to be a solid ace and the fact that he is only 29 years old and about to enter his prime. Not to mention, the Rangers feel Hamilton quit on them last season down the stretch, which does not sit well with people inside the organization.

There is currently a four-team blockbuster trade that the Rangers are involved in which is how they could acquire their bat if they back off of Hamilton. The organization would love nothing more than to sign Greinke and acquire Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the four-team trade. Obviously, Upton’s production is nowhere near that of Hamilton but Texas believes they can make up for it with pitching.

Greinke will now have to decide if he wants to play in Hollywood or in Arlington for the next several years. The fact that his wife, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, likes the idea of returning to Texas could certainly persuade him to sign with the Rangers.

Make sure to check back with Rant Sports on all MLB winter meeting news involving Greinke and Hamilton.

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.

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