My weeks-long experiment in cognitive dissonance relating to the odds of Zack Greinke re-signing with the Angels continues as today I present you with five reasons why the Halos still have a shot at landing the pitcher, despite the discouraging reports to the contrary:
1) Maybe he just likes the Angels better. Much has been made about Zack and his struggles with anxiety and depression. Part of the way he has managed those problems has been by creating comfortable environments for himself. That could mean that he will be selective about the new franchise he joins and what the culture and support system is like there. He already has a degree of comfort with the Halos, albeit not a large one, but at least he is familiar with what they have to offer and how they can accommodate his needs.
2) Maybe the Dodgers are bluffing. Everyone assumes the Dodgers are just going to blow away all offers once it comes to final decision time, but as I expounded upon earlier, they could have done that already and haven't. Maybe they do actually have a budget and/or real concerns about how they can slot Greinke into their already over-capacity rotation. I know they are talking big about landing Zack, but perhaps they are just doing so to try and scare off bidders so that they don't have to make that Godfather offer everyone expects.
3) The Rangers are still very much in play. This is probably just more of my wishful thinking, but the fact that the Rangers are currently the co-favorites to sign Greinke along with the Dodgers suggest that maybe Zack still isn't getting the over-the-top offer everyone expects. Texas, under GM Jon Daniels, has been notoriously reticent to hand out rich, long-term deals. If Greinke's current price is so wildly high that it has supposedly scared off the Halos, it should also have scared off the Rangers too, right?
4) Weird stuff happens. Not to bring up a painful memory, but think back to the Carl Crawford Catastrophe from two Winter Meetings ago. The conventional wisdom was that Crawford was going to end up with the Angels and there wasn't much that could prevent that from happening. The Halos had the money and the roster fit, yet they somehow screwed it up. Who is to say that the Dodgers won't somehow bungle the negotiations? Maybe they will wait to long to make their best offer. Maybe they will refuse to give him a no-trade clause or some other perk that Greinke covets. Maybe they will just say something stupid in their meetings with him. These are meetings are high stakes poker and every once in awhile the pressure gets to a GM and they blow a great hand… just like Tony Reagins did two years ago.
5) Not everyone is all about money. Let's be honest, the four reasons above are all derivative of this one. The assumption has always been that Greinke will go to the highest bidder because, well, that's what most players do. The key word their is "most." Guys like Cliff Lee and Jered Weaver have spurned bigger money to go be on a team that they just know is right for them Greinke is definitely a different kind of cat, so he sure seems like a candidate to make a similar decision if all the contracts are at least in the same ballpark. Or maybe not, because maybe he isn't as weird as everyone wants us to think.