Update: Dodgers sign Greinke to 6 yr/$147MM Contract Post #106
I figure we'll likely be getting a lot of news and rumors this off-season about Greinke so we might as well have a thread dedicated to him. Additionally, I wanted to write about my view on the Greinke issue and spent enough time on it that I didn't want it to be jumbled into the Off-Season thread.
Here's my take:
While most of us seem to think the Angels have a good chance at re-signing Greinke, it's still far from a foregone conclusion. Greinke is likely to get heavy interest from teams such as the Rangers, Tigers, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Braves, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and likely others. This could drive up his price to about six to seven years at a price between $120-150 million. While I would love to bring Greinke back, I believe giving him a contract in excess of six years and approximately $105 MIL would be a mistake.
There's no doubt that the rotation is a major weakness for the Angels right now, but I believe it might behoove the Angels to pass on Greinke if the bidding gets out of hand and aim to sign two mid-level starting pitchers instead, Anibal Sanchez and Shaun Marcum come to mind. While I understand that the Angels are a large market team with no shortage of resources, they have a lot of future payroll tied up already and signing Greinke would only add onto that load. Additionally, assuming Trout has another god-like year in 2013, the Angels will likely have to explore the possibility of signing Trout to a mega contract similar to the one Pujols signed one year ago. While the Angels may have no shortage of resources, they do have limits on payroll if they don't want to get hit with the luxury tax.
It seems almost pointless to say this given the past year, but spending excessively does not instantaneously push a team into the playoffs. The Angels spent over $300 MIL in new contracts last winter and didn't make the playoffs. The Red Sox, Rangers, Phillies, and Marlins all had payrolls in the top ten and didn't make the playoffs or got eliminated in one game. I'm not proposing that we try to cut payroll, but I think we need to spend more wisely. The Cardinals are a good example of what I'm trying to say. They lost Pujols to the Angels because they weren't willing to go beyond years and salary figures that they weren't comfortable with. They then went and signed Carlos Beltran to a contract worth less than 1/10 of what Pujols got and received similar, if not better, production.
The same logic holds for the situation the Angels find themselves in with Greinke. Let some other team overspend on years and money while the Angels sign two players for much less and receive similar production. While signing Greinke would make a great 1-2-3 punch of Weaver, Wilson and Greinke, I would prefer a fuller rotation of Weaver, Wilson, Sanchez and Marcum/Haren. That rotation seems more reliable and allows for less pressure to be put on three people. Additionally, they wouldn't be paying as much and wouldn't be taking as much of a risk since neither pitcher is likely to ask for more than a three to four year deal.
Obviously the strategy of outspending almost everyone hasn't been working the past couple years. Yet, instead of changing our strategy, we've simply tried to outspend our opponents even more. I'm not saying I don't appreciate the signings of Pujols and Wilson, but it is an undeniable fact that the Angels took big risks with both of those deals. My proposal is that we stop taking high priced risks. Zack Greinke is a high priced risk. The Angels already have enough uncertainty looking at them in the future and do they really need more?