Nolan Ryan: Zack Greinke built to last

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Free-agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke is the top hurler on the market as the offseason gets going. And it just so happens the Texas Rangers need one more starter, preferably one who can slot into the top half of the rotation.

Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan heaped praise on Greinke in a media gathering Wednesday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

"I think because of the need of pitching, there’s going to be an awful lot of interest," Ryan said. "When I look at him, I think he has a real feel for pitching. He’s a command guy. He has a really good changeup."

Ryan said he feels Greinke has the mechanics to stay healthy.

"When I look at him, I don’t get concerns about breaking down because he has a good delivery and it’s effortless and he has a feel for pitching," Ryan said. "You’d probably feel stronger about him as far as a longevity candidate than maybe some of the power guys. That’s my initial thoughts when I watch him."

That's an interesting observation from Ryan because he's usually hesitant to talk long-term deals about pitchers because one injury can end a career or alter the value of the deal considerably. So for Ryan to say he feels like Greinke is a strong "longevity candidate" is telling.

Greinke could get something in the range of six years and $130 to $144 million depending on various reports and speculation that's out there. That doesn't mean Ryan's comfortable going six years -- he wasn't really comfortable talking six years for Cliff Lee, but went there because he felt Lee was a legitimate No. 1 for a rotation that didn't have a true No. 1 at the time.

The club has a No. 1 now in Yu Darvish. But Greinke would be a nice complement at the top of the rotation.