Report: Brewers willing to go near $100 million to re-sign Zack Greinke

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The ever familiar “person familiar with their thinking” told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that the Brewers are willing to go “close to $100 million over five years” to re-sign Zack Greinke, but that they’re not optimistic about getting an extension done.

Part of the reason the Brewers are pessimistic is simply that Greinke is only three months away from being able to field bids from everyone.

“I can’t get into what the offers are,” GM Doug Melvin told Heyman, “but players at that level who get this close to free agency do tend to test the market.”

Matt Cain, in the same situation as Greinke, got what amounted to being a five-year, $112.5 million extension from the Giants in April ($21 million per year for five years, plus a $7.5 million buyout of a $21 million option in 2018).

Greinke doesn’t necessarily deserve as much as Cain, but as long as he finishes the season healthy, it’s hard to imagine he won’t get it. There’s going to be plenty of teams wanting pitching and only two elite arms available in Cole Hamels and Greinke.

Perhaps Greinke is in a bit different of a situation than Hamels, in that his personality and aversion to the spotlight could cause both he to shy away from the large markets and for the New York and Los Angeles teams to shy away from him. Milwaukee seems the perfect situation for him, particularly given that he’s 15-0 in his home starts since joining the Brewers.

Still, if the Milwaukee’s offer comes up $20 million-$30 million short, it’s going to be tough to stay. The Brewers need him more than he needs them.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.