Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Dodgers add weapon

On verge of signing Greinke to $147-M deal

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Free AGENT pitcher Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers tried to close a deal Saturday night worth $147 million over six years, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Saturday night because there was no completed contract.

Greinke is the top arm on the open market, and has attracted interest from the Dodgers, Texas and the Los Angeles Angels. The 29-year-old righty started last season with Milwaukee and was later traded to the Angels, going a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA.

The 2009 AL Cy Young winner with Kansas City would be the latest high-priced player to be acquired by the Dodgers. They traded for first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, shortstop Hanley Ramirez, pitcher Josh Beckett and outfielder Carl Crawford late last season.

With the Dodgers, Greinke would pair with 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for a formidable top of the rotation.

The Dodgers, infused with money after the sale this year to an ownership group that includes Magic Johnson, went 86-76 last season and finished eight games behind eventual World Series champion San Francisco in the NL West.

Greinke is 91-78 with a 3.77 ERA in nine seasons with the Brewers, Dodgers and Angels.

Greinke and slugger Josh Hamilton were the top two free-agent targets at the baseball winter meetings this week. Texas was interested in re-signing Hamilton, and he also drew attention from Seattle.

Several potential trades and signings throughout the majors were thought to be on hold while Greinke and Hamilton made their decisions.

Yanks pursue Youkilis

AS Kevin Youkilis continued mulling the Yankees' offer on Saturday, he received an endorsement from the man he would replace.

"Youk has always been a tough out," Alex Rodriguez said. "He's a tough player, he's a guy that's a winning player. Whatever the franchise wants to do, I think that would be a good move for us."

The Yankees offered Youkilis, a longtime thorn in their side, a one-year, $12-million contract Thursday morning.

The Indians, managed by Terry Francona, his former manager with the Red Sox, have offered two years for a reported $18 million.

Third base isn't the only hole general manager Brian Cashman has to fill. The Yankees need a right-fielder and catching help, though Cashman has said that the latter position is likely to be filled from within.

Rodriguez said early December isn't the time to judge the offseason, referencing late 2011, when the Yankees were months away from bringing in productive role players in Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez and Chris Stewart.

"We have all-stars all over the place, we have Hall of Fame players across the board," A-Rod said.

"I think obviously there's needs, but last year at this time, we (didn't) have Chavez and Ibanez and Stewart and a number of other guys. And they played very, very key roles during the year and down the stretch."

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 9, 2012 B16

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