Dead in the water.
Up a creek.
In deep doo-doo.
However you want to phrase it, for the Angels, life without Zack Greinke doesn't look particularly appealing. They gave away most of the best parts of their farm system to get him and their entire off-season plan is centered entirely around the Halos bringing him back. So, yeah, they've done a wonderful job of painting themselves into a corner. And that paint is only getting closer with the news that Greinke is seeking a six-year, $150 million contract.
Sure, there is not much of chance that he actually gets that much money, but it now seems apparent that Greinke is out to cash in rather than just find a team that he feels most comfortable with, as many Angel fans had hoped. Even with the Angels deep pockets, the idea of the Greinke pursuit devolving into a strict bidding war sends a shiver down my spine.
That isn't a result of not having Greinke, it is about the complete and utter lack of options the Angels have for re-arming their rotation which is now poised to be the weakes it has been in years if they lose Greinke. For the majority of Scioscia's tenure, the Halos have had two frontline pitchers manning the staff. Weaver and Haren. Lackey and Weaver. Lackey and Colon. Washburn and Appier. In 2013? Weaver and hopefully C.J. Wilson, if his elbow surgery really was a minor and somehow magically cures him of his control problems.
Maybe Wilson lives up to his contract, maybe he doesn't. That's a chance the Angels will have to take without Greinke because there is almost no way they get their mitts on another pitcher of his caliber. The second-best pitcher in free agency is the underwhelming Anibal Sanchez. The trade market has a few potential options, like James Shields and, ummm... well, yeah. So let's pretend for a second that Shields is on the same relative level as Greinke, or at least close to it. What do the Angels even have left to offer for such a pitcher?
They gutted the high levels of their system to land Greinke in the first place. They took Bourjos off the market when they let Torii Hunter walk away. They seem to be planning heavily on a future that involves Kaleb Cowart and Nick Maronde and thus might be loath to give up either player.
Wonderful, they've got the money to sign a player that isn't really available and not enough trade assets to make a move for such a pitcher should he become available. Suddenly, ponying $150 million doesn't seem so crazy, does it?
The bidding will probably never get quite that high, but the Halos would be fools to not do all they can to stay in that bidding until the bitter end. If they don't they are toast... busted out... flatlining... DOA... well, you get it.
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I can't see taking on another mega-contract being the wise move, even if it is Greinke. Weaver, Wilson, Saunders, Richards, & Williams would all keep the Angels in games. With the weapons on offense the team has, that should be enough. Now if Price became available, I take the gamble and trade Bourjos and Cron to the Rays to get him, then bring Hunter back to fill out the OF. Now, if only the Rays would take Wells........
Is Greinke important? Absolutely, I wouldn't suggest otherwise. But are the Angels screwed without him? No. Niemann, Price, Hellickson, Shields, Cobb, someone in TB is going to get traded, and if the Angels dangle Cron or Linsey, they have a shot at getting Cobb or Niemann. As for the other spot in the rotation (they need 2 SP), gotta think the Angels would go after Shaun Marcum, who is also a #3/4 SP. Is it preferable to Greinke? No, but I don't think 2013 is a lost cause if they don't land Greinke. It just means they'll have to trade and CJ Wilson will need to come back healthy. Keep in mind, before the elbow acted up, Wilson was an all-star. Good #2/3 SP. Angels will be fine.
You just said outloud what I've been fretting over all afternoon, Twitter and blogs are doing nothing to make me feel any better about it. The laugh of the day had to be hearing A Sanchez asking for 6yrs/ 90M. Dude didnt even have a 500 record. JeDi has NO choice.