By Shannon Drayer
By the looks of things, baseball did not take the weekend off after the winter meetings.
Zack Greinke is now a Dodger after signing a record-setting six-year, $147 million deal. Hey National League, congratulations on your new Yankees. What impact does this signing have on the Mariners?
If you believe that the Mariners were in heavy with Josh Hamilton, well, this is not good news. The Rangers were ready to sink big dollars into Greinke and they still have those dollars. They have additional dollars as well after trading Michael Young to the Phillies. When asked on the conference call to announce the trade if he has had a final conversation with Hamilton yet, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels answered simply, “No.” It would appear that there will be further negotiations. As for the Mariners, my belief is what it has been all along, they have a threshold they will not go over for Hamilton and I do not believe it is a very high threshold at that. They will not engage in a bidding war with Texas.
There is a little bit of good news in that with the trade of James Shields to the Royals, Texas has now missed out on their top two pitching targets. This was not a good weekend for the Rangers.
There is one more impact the Greinke signing most likely will have on the Mariners and that comes on the Felix front. Greinke very well may have set the new bar for Felix and Justin Verlander, who also could get extended this winter/spring.
As for the deal that sent Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City for Wil Myers and prospects, don’t bother what-iffing on that one. The Mariners simply did not have what it would take to land Myers. Kansas City wanted major league pitching and the only Mariner they would have had interest in was Felix. As for Billy Butler, Alex Gordon or any other Royals hitter, forget it. The Royals have closed shop. They are going for it now and will keep their hitters.
There was one other small move that may or may not help the Mariners. The Indians signed Mark Reynolds, which most likely takes them out of the bidding for Kevin Youkilis. There have been several reports that the Mariners are interested in Youkilis. I am not crazy about bringing in a third baseman but Youkilis has played a good amount of first so there is flexibility. We shall see with this one.