The Angels top priority: signing Zack Greinke

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In some of the Dan Haren/Ervin Santana threads some Angels fans have said that they hope that L.A. doesn’t re-sign Zack Greinke.  Guess what: the Angels aren’t listening to you, as Danny Knobler reports:

The Angels’ top offseason priority is finding a way to re-sign Greinke (“huge priority,” one Angels person said).

Greinke was 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 89 and a third innings for the Angels after being shipped west from Milwaukee.  He made $13.5 million in 2012 and he’s easily the top free agent pitcher on the market this winter, so the Angels are going to have some serious competition and are going to have to pay some serious coin to lock him up.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.