The New York Post’s Joel Sherman hears that the Rangers are “right there” with the Dodgers in the bidding for Zack Greinke, with the Nationals possibly still in the mix and the Angels nearly out of it.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com doesn’t see anyone hanging with the Dodgers, though:
But it seems pretty clear who is going to offer Greinke the biggest deal. The Dodgers seem determined to sign him, no matter the cost. As Dodgers president Stan Kasten said, “We are the opposite of the mystery team.”
The Braves have also touched base with Greinke, and Atlanta may well be the right-hander’s preferred destination given similar deals. However, the Braves aren’t likely to come in close to the Dodgers’ bid, especially not after splurging for B.J. Upton. Besides, their rotation is pretty good as is.
Greinke is certainly going to top Matt Cain’s five-year, $112.5 million deal and land the biggest contract for a right-handed pitcher in major league history. The real question is whether he’ll also surpass CC Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million deal and get the largest pitching contract overall.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.