The Texas Rangers were informed on Saturday that Zack Greinke is not coming to Arlington, a source confirmed. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports Greinke is close to signing a six-year deal worth approximately $145 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
So the dominoes that didn't fall in Nashville, Tenn., a few days ago are beginning to fall now. The Rangers still have a spot open in their rotation. Where could they look to fill it? Some possibilities:
* R.A. Dickey. The former Ranger and 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner could be on the trade block if the New York Mets can't get a two-year extension done. Dickey enjoyed his time in Texas and would give the Rangers another top-tier starter for 2013. The rotation is currently fronted by Yu Darvish, with All-Star Matt Harrison behind him. Dickey and his knuckleball would be a nice addition. The Rangers may not match up perfectly with the Mets in terms of the exact positions they want (for instance, the Mets apparently want a catcher), but would New York simply take the best package it could get? What if (just speculating here) that package was fronted by Mike Olt?
* James Shields. The price was sky-high at the winter meetings, but the Rangers' farm system could entice the Rays to do something. And maybe now that the Rangers don't have Greinke, they'll be willing to up their offer a bit. Shields, who turns 31 on Dec. 20, has pitched at least 200 innings each of the past six seasons. His numbers dipped some in 2012, but he was still solid. He had a 3.52 ERA in 227 2/3 innings (33 starts). Shields also has six postseason starts under his belt, his last two against the Rangers (and he lost both of those, allowing 11 runs on 12 hits in 9 1/3 innings).
Those are the two big options that were buzzing around the lobby at the Gaylord Opryland last week. Are there others the club could look at? What about Anibal Sanchez? The free agent is probably the next best thing on the market now with Greinke reportedly heading to L.A. Sanchez is four months younger than Greinke, has a slider and changeup that get plenty of swings and misses, and he pitched well down the stretch. Sanchez was 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA for the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers in 2012. He was sent to the Tigers at the trade deadline and played a big role for the AL champions.
In his six September starts, Sanchez was 2-2 with a 2.43 ERA. He had 37 strikeouts and five walks. In the playoffs, Sanchez made three starts and was 1-2 with a 1.77 ERA, his lone win coming against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. He had quality starts in all three outings and had 18 strikeouts and six walks.
Do the Rangers consider Kyle Lohse? Who do you think the Rangers should go after now that Greinke appears headed to L.A.?