Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

zack greinke dodgersEarly in the week, we had the boom-boom back-to-back signings of top free agent starters Jordan Zimmermann and David Price, and a flurry of attendant rumors that followed.

But not much activity.

Part of that was due to the tender deadline, which came and went on Wednesday. Teams were not only focused on that and the work that surrounds it, but also, with the free agent pool set to expand thanks to non-tenders, a little break in the action was to be expected as teams re-evaluated after Wednesday.

I wonder if part of it, though, is also because of Zack Greinke.

Consider that, as the other big-time starting pitcher on the free agent market, Greinke is target number-one-A-with-a-bullet for at least two big money teams (the Dodgers and Giants), so much so that when Greinke was pushing for offers early this week, it actually wound up prompting the Red Sox, Cardinals, and Price to finish up their negotiations.

Further, you’ve got this:

In other words, until Greinke makes his decision (presumably between the Dodgers and Giants), the Giants won’t be making another move. Even as that’s technically just one team waiting on a decision from one player, the impact is extremely far-reaching.

Because the Giants won’t do anything until they know what’s what from Greinke, according to Rosenthal you’ve then got next-tier pitchers like Jeff Samardzija, Mike Leake, and John Lackey who will similarly not do anything until they know for sure they aren’t going to get top dollar from the Giants. Then you’ve got teams that are interested in those pitchers more reluctant to do anything else because they don’t know if those pitchers might be able to be signed on more favorable terms. Then you’ve got other free agents waiting because they don’t know if their preferred team is going to have money for them, or if it’ll be used on one of those pitchers. Then you’ve got the trade possibilities that were referenced, and the web keeps spiraling outward.

This won’t last forever, of course, either because Greinke will make a decision, or the other actors involved will decide they simply cannot wait any longer – someone will pull the trigger on something, and that will set into motion other movement.

Rumors this week had Greinke close to making a decision between the Giants and Dodgers, so this might all shake loose rapidly. The Winter Meetings, annually the home for a flurry of activity, begin on Monday in Nashville.

Indeed, the weekend before the Winter Meetings is often very busy. It looks like that could be the case again this year.

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