Dodgers considered “the favorites” to sign Zack Greinke

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It was reported earlier this month that free agent right-hander Zack Greinke is on the Dodgers’ list of desired offseason acquisitions. And his name is apparently pretty high up on that list, too.

An “industry insider” told Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald this weekend that the Dodgers are being viewed as the favorites to sign Greinke, who is the top starter on the open market this winter.

Los Angeles’ payroll is already hovering near $200 million, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the club’s higher-ups. Brandon League scored a ridiculous three-year, $22.5 million contract in late October.

Greinke, 29, posted a 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200/54 K/BB ratio in 212 1/3 innings this past season between the Brewers and Angels. He’s thought to be seeking an agreement worth close to $150 million.

The Rangers are also interested, and the Angels are expected to make a strong effort to re-sign him.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.