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.

Diamondbacks clinch NL Wild Card

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Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.

The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.

The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.

The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.

Video: Phillies rookies dance to “Greased Lightning”

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As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.

The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.

Video with sound is not currently allowed to be embedded, so click here for that.

As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”

The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense: