Zack Greinke, highest paid pitcher in baseball history?

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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.

U.S Defeats World in a power-packed Futures Game

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They played the Futures Game yesterday, pitting the top prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. You most likely missed it because, for reasons that have still yet to be adequately explained to me, the game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when literally all 30 major league teams are in action. Oh well.

If you did happen to see it, however, you saw a lot of bombast, as the two teams combined for eight home runs, with Team USA prevailing, 10-6. It was the United States’ eighth win in the past nine Futures Games.

Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers system hit two homers — he was the first one to do that in a Futures Game since Alfonso Soriano did it back in 1999 — but Taylor Trammell of the Reds system was the game MVP following his 2-for-2 (HR, 3B) performance. Other highlights involved Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, who threw 19 fastballs among his 27 pitches, each and every one of them hitting triple digits, with one registering at 103.1 m.p.h. Not that velocity is everything: a 102.3 m.p.h. pitch he threw ended up being deposited over the fence for a two-run homer by Luis Alexander Basabe of the White Sox system.

Also of note was a homer from Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates system. Notable for it breaking a tie and putting the U.S. up by two, but also notable because Ke’Bryan is the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes. Feel old yet?

There was a lot of back and forth, and certainly a lot of bombast, but the U.S. took its final lead on a wild pitch. Here are some highlights:

Here’s hoping, in the future, the Futures Game is moved to Sunday evening or even Monday where people will have a better chance of seeing it.