The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly agreed to terms with Zack Greinke on a 6-year, $147 million contract. According to Jeff Wilson of the FWST, the Rangers will now look to pursue Plan B options such as James Shields and R.A. Dickey.
The impact of this non-signing has yet to fully sink in at this point, but if I could clearly transcribe my thoughts, they would look something like this:
On the macro scale, Zack Greinke would easily have added between 4-5 wins to our 2013 club.
On a micro level, the Rangers again failed to acquire a top-tier free agent, a phenomena that’s essentially occurred since the inception of the franchise.
I cannot bring myself to a point where I blame the front office, because rarely do these maximum figure deals actually work out for the acquiring club. However, I also cannot say that I don’t feel at least a minor amount of disappointment, because I really do like Zack Greinke and what he potentially could have brought to the table here. There’s just something about a rotation headed by Yu Darvish and Zack Greinke, followed by Matt Harrison and Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando, that really would have gotten me excited for next year. Oh well.
This basically leaves the Rangers where they started before the offseason began. They are without a middle-of-the-order bat, and sans a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. Sure, these are problems that can easily be fixed, but the reality of having to use minor league assets to recoup that type of talent in return isn’t as attractive as the simplicity involved in using money people like you and I won’t be spending.
So there’s that.
Other options on the table include James Shields ($9M option in 2013; $12M option in ’14) and R.A. Dickey (signed for $5M in 2013). Shields, having netted 4.9 and 4.3 fWAR seasons the last two years, respectively, seems like a more logical and less volatile route to take than Dickey, who’s only signed for 2013 before becoming a free agent. That, and it’s really hard to project what knuckleballers can produce, particularly what with the fact that Dickey would be going from a pitcher’s park in New York over to Arlington — a tougher league that features a designated hitter every time through the lineup rather than a pitcher .
Having said all this, the Rangers still have a ton of avenues to go between. It’s not a matter of simply having enough money to afford any free agent on the market. The farm system is strong enough that no player is unattainable. That, if nothing else, is a blessing.
I’ll probably feel a little weird about Zack Greinke choosing to go elsewhere at least until I wake up tomorrow morning. Hopefully by that time the booze will wear off and I’ll be thinking rationally. But right now, it stings, and it should sting.
I suppose that means I have more drinking to do.