If reports are to be believed, the Angels have gotten a sense of what kind of financial commitment it will take to keep Zack Greinke and decided that they just can't afford him… even though they kind of knew what his price tag would be when they traded for him… and still knew that price a few weeks ago when they overtly expressed how re-signing was their top priority.
OK, so, maybe that report is a little dubious, but it does serve as a stark reminder that the Halos more likely than not will not re-sign Greinke either because they've removed themselves from the bidding or simply lost out. But that's OK because we all know that in the event that the Angels miss out on Greinke that they will just turn to Plan B which is…
…hold on… the newsroom is giving me an update… it appears… yes… yes, there does not appear to be a Plan B. Hmm, well, this is awkward.
OK, that's not fair. I'm sure Jerry Dipoto has some kind of contingency plan, he'd be a fool not to. I mean, it isn't like he's Tony Reagins and going to make a horrible panic trade because he missed out on his top target, or… oh, dear God, please don't let that happen! THE HORROR!!! We're all going to die!!!!! Game over, man! GAME OVER!!!!
Sorry, I lost my composure there for a second. Where was I? Oh, right, the contingency plan or lack thereof. The thing is we don't really know what Dipoto's Plan B is because there hasn't been so much as a whiff of it leaked to the media. Seriously, have we seen the Angels linked to a single starting pitcher other than Greinke at all this off-season? I know I haven't, outside of Kuroda who already re-upped with the Yankees, and I spend an unhealthy amount of time paying attention to this stuff. But surely they didn't jettison Santana and Haren without having a gameplan to replace them.
That's what makes this "giving up on Greinke" report so hard for me to swallow because I can't console myself with the hope of the alternate options. Sure, I could baselessly speculate that the Halos should sign Brandon McCarthy because he's a cool dude on Twitter and would be fun to have on the team, but that doesn't mean the Angels are interested in him. I could also paint a future where the Angels reunite with Joe Saunders, but that would be a suggestion driven purely by fan nostalgia.
Really the only rumor that holds any water is the Halos pursuing a trade for James Shields because we know that the Angels engaged in such talks back at the trade deadline. Hooray! Someone to hope for!!
Or not. Turns out the Angels gutted their whole farm system to sign Greinke and then took Peter Bourjos, the big trade chip that Tampa would want, off the trading block because they let Torii Hunter walk away. If that's Plan B, it is a poorly formulated one. Back to square one.
As discouraging as that all sounds, we can find some small solace in that the Angels do actually have money to spend, they just don't want to spend it all on Greinke. That $120+ million that they at one point seemed willing to spend could go towards filling their remaining two rotation spots. That gives them the option of spending big on one of the other top pitchers on the market (which is really just Anibal Sanchez) or making two mid-level investments to plug thos holes. Either strategy makes more financial sense than wildly overpaying Greinke, we just can't yet feel as good about it until we can put faces to the hypothetical names. I mean, there is a big difference between knowing that the Halos signed McCarthy and Marcum versus signing Brett Myers and Edwin Jackson.
Let's just hope it doesn't ever come to that though. If there is one thing we've learned about the Hot Stove League it is that you can't believe all rumors. Or at least that is what I am going to keep telling myself right up to the second that Grienke signs on the dotted line with someone else.