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.