Upton may be the key to deciding where both Greinke and Hamilton land. Image: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers Hold All the Cards in Greinke, Hamilton Markets

There is a growing sentiment among front office types that if free agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke wanted to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, he would have done so already.

There is an ever-present feeling that if the Texas Rangers wanted to re-sign Josh Hamilton, they could have done so by now.

The Rangers, it seems, are holding up the entire free agent market as they try to figure out a way to get everything they want this Winter. That wish list includes one pitcher and one hitter. All indications are, however, that they cannot sign both Hamilton and Greinke. It has to be one or the other.

From the looks of things, the Rangers would prefer Greinke and another hitter to Hamilton and another pitcher. Texas has been working hard to land Arizona’s Justin Upton, but thus far have been unwilling to part with shortstop Elvis Andrus in order to complete the deal. Instead, the Rangers have been recruiting additional teams to try to appease the Diamondbacks’ desire for a shortstop.

All the while, Greinke waits for the Rangers. The Dodgers wait for Greinke. Hamilton waits for the Rangers. Seattle waits for Hamilton.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan told reporters yesterday that signing both Greinke and Hamilton was not out of the question, but the additional money would have to be approved by ownership. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have an unlimited supply of funds and plan not only to sign Greinke, but to add another starting pitcher as well, perhaps even Anibal Sanchez, who is likely to get a five or six year deal worth $75-90 million himself.

Seattle, according to reports this morning, have made significant progress toward a deal with Hamilton, but the former MVP has agreed to allow the Rangers an opportunity to match before he signs elsewhere. Texas won’t make such a decision without first knowing what Greinke will do and they don’t appear ready to offer Greinke a deal he’ll accept until they have a decision on Upton.

If the Rangers want to, the feeling is that they can get the balls rolling in short order. All it would seemingly take is a willingness to let go of Andrus. The longer they wait, the better the odds that they wind up missing out on both Hamilton and Greinke. Eventually, someone will blink.

Tags: Josh Hamilton Justin Upton Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Rumors Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers Zack Greinke

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