As the Dodgers and Rangers reportedly battle over Zack Greinke the latest from CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman is that there’s a “strong belief by people close to situation” that Greinke “can beat” the $161 million CC Sabathia got from the Yankees.
In other words, Greinke could be the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.
Here are the current biggest contracts of all time for pitchers:
CC Sabathia – $161 million
Cole Hamels – $144 million
Johan Santana – $137.5 million
Matt Cain – $127.5 million
Barry Zito – $126 million
It always seemed all but certain that Greinke would get into the $125 million-plus club and for the past month or so most of the speculation has started in the six-year, $150 million range, so topping $161 million doesn’t seem so crazy in that context.
And, realistically, with revenue skyrocketing and player salaries rising every offseason each new ace starting pitcher to hit the open market at a relatively young age–Greinke just turned 29 years old–has a pretty good chance to become the highest-paid pitcher of all time.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.
David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.
Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:
[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.
The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.