D-backs Winter Meetings notes: Greinke, Drury come up in rumors

Dec 13, 2017, 10:14 AM | Updated: 12:21 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers duri...

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of game 3 of baseball's National League Division Series, Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

LISTEN: Bob Nightengale, USA Today Baseball Columnist

Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen on Tuesday discussed keeping an open mind about remaining competitive for 2018 without mortgaging the future.

It didn’t take long for the most extreme option regarding the latter to come up.

Multiple reports out of Texas indicated the Rangers inquired about trading for D-backs ace Zack Greinke. While those were true to some degree, according to USA Today reporter Bob Nightengale, it’s more accurate that the Rangers asked about the entire Arizona starting staff.

“The Rangers inquired about everybody, including Greinke,” Nightengale said Wednesday while visiting Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “They wanted the Diamondbacks to eat some of that salary and also they wouldn’t get any prospects back in return.”

According to Nightengale and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the D-backs were asked to take back outfielder Shin-Soo Choo’s $63 million owed over the next three years.

In short, the Rangers and D-backs aren’t on the same wavelength.

“That’s not happening,” Nightengale said. “I think (the Rangers) probably pivot or try to get another Diamondback starter, whether it’s Patrick Corbin or someone else. They’re trying to get Greinke as a freebie.

“(The D-backs) at least confirmed it, but they weren’t the team spreading that rumor,” the reporter added. “That came out of Texas.”

Greinke’s $126.5 million over four years remaining on his contract, however, will remain a talking point around MLB circles.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman adds that the possibility of Arizona unloading Greinke is likely linked to its pursuit of slugger J.D. Martinez — the team will meet with him Wednesday, the reporter added. But those around the league don’t believe the D-backs have a realistic chance at moving Greinke’s deal without eating part of the contract.

Martinez, meanwhile, arrived in Florida for the Winter Meetings and will sit down with Arizona and the Boston Red Sox, according to ESPN’s Scott Lauber.


The New York Yankees reportedly have interest not only in D-backs starting pitcher Patrick Corbin but infielder Brandon Drury, reports the New York Post’s Joel Sherman and’s Bryan Hoch.

Again, the rumors of other teams’ interest in a Diamondback player stems from Arizona’s stockpile at the position.

Drury won the starting job at second base but later platooned with veteran Daniel Descalso. The Yankees, according to Sherman, could play him at second or his more natural third base position after losing Starlin Castro and Chase Headley.

The 25-year-old Drury hit .267 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 2017.


Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo spoke at the Winter Meetings on Wednesday morning and addressed J.D. Martinez’s play in his half-season in Arizona and gave a self-review of his first year of manager.

Here are a few selections from his meeting with reporters.

On signing a player in his 30s like Martinez: “It’s a very slippery slope. You have to be very careful about signing guys to a contract that might be a couple years too long.  Passing on somebody might be the best move.

“You have to look at the body and the mind and the soul. Given his age, he’s going to play several more years. I know he’s a very healthy, strong body. That’s information I get to see inside of the clubhouse.”

On reflecting over his first year as MLB manager: “Through experience you try not to walk down that road again. I’m not going to say it’s going to be a perfect science this next year, but I learned how to let things go and not let it bother me and fester and continue on to the next day. There were some situations where I was really disappointed in some of the decisions I made — that are all well-documented I’m sure — I just learned that that’s part of the game and I got to turn the page as quickly as possible because the team will need me the next day.”

On motivating the D-backs: “At times, I felt like I was a broken record early on, but we were trying to change a culture. We were trying to establish what it meant to be an Arizona Diamondback. We had to earn some respect in the National League, which I think we did. That was my early message, and I didn’t come off of that because that’s what I believed what would take to be successful.”

On how the team will approach the potential loss of J.D. Martinez: “I want us all to remember for the first half of the year and beyond, we were a real good team. I’m hoping because of what those guys tasted, touched, felt, they will understand what it takes to fill in those gaps.”


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