Greinke says he chose Dodgers over Rangers


Greinke says he chose Dodgers over Rangers

LOS ANGELES (AP) Zack Greinke showed up alone to a mid-November meeting at Dodger Stadium, asking as many questions as he answered. When he left three hours later, the pitcher thought he may have found his new team while the Los Angeles Dodgers brass knew they had to land the top arm on the open market.

They did, signing Greinke to a $147 million, six-year deal that is the richest for a right-hander in baseball history. The Dodgers beat out Texas and the rival Los Angeles Angels, for whom Greinke pitched last season.

``He's the one we wanted,'' said Magic Johnson, a partner in Guggenheim Baseball Management, which bought the team last spring. ``A guy of Zack's ability and also his commitment to his craft, they don't come on the market too many times. We're so thrilled to have him. Dodger pride is on the way back.''

Greinke's introduction on Tuesday culminated a more than $200 million spending spree by the Dodgers in which they also signed South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin, who got a $36 million, six-year deal. The club also spent $25.7 million on a posting fee that gave the Dodgers exclusive negotiating rights with Ryu.

``Nobody worried about the Yankees when they were doing this and winning,'' Johnson said. ``We're here to win.''

The Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988, but that didn't discourage Greinke.

``Besides the money, the No. 1 (reason) was they have a team that could win a World Series for several years,'' he said.

Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, and Ryu give the Dodgers eight starting pitchers under contract for next season, joining 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.

The Dodgers were eager to bolster their pitching this winter knowing that Billingsley (elbow) and Lilly (shoulder) are coming off operations.

``A lot of things have to come together,'' Greinke said. ``You can't just throw names on a team and be good. If everyone comes back healthy it should be a good ride. They could be good for every year of my contract, so there is no rebuilding.''

With Greinke locked up, the Dodgers plan to discuss a contract extension with Kershaw, who can become a free agent after the 2014 season.

Casey Close, Greinke's agent, said Texas was in the hunt for his client until the end.

``At one point, I was favoring Texas,'' Greinke said before the negotiations made him change his mind.

The Angels didn't make it that far, according to Greinke, who said his former team ``never really got into it when the details came.''

``There's a point where every team has to have a stopping point and they obviously reached it,'' he said. ``I'm not mad at them. I don't think they're mad at how I went about things.''

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

In 2009, Greinke went 16-8 with a major league-leading 2.16 ERA for Kansas City, and he'd like to recapture that form.

``I was consistent that whole entire year,'' he said. ``Most years I'll start strong and hit a roadblock.''

Greinke impressed Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, president and CEO Stan Kasten and manager Don Mattingly simply by showing up alone to their meeting.

``He was stunning. It was probably the best free-agent meeting I've ever had,'' Colletti said. ``I can't remember one that didn't bring an agent or friends. If the questioning got a little tough, they had a fallback.''

Greinke showed he'd done his homework on the Dodgers, discussing younger players in their system, his strategies for retiring everyone in the team's lineup, and what the club would be like in three years. He saw Dodger Stadium as the kind of park that would allow him to be a fly ball pitcher.

``This was always a place I wanted to play,'' he said. ``I loved it there (in Anaheim), so I assume this will be just as good.''

Kasten impressed Greinke with his plans for the organization and what the pitcher said was ``his ability to keep so many things under control.''

``I don't want to make his head too big, but I thought Stan was the smartest person I ever talked to,'' Greinke said. ``With him in charge, I thought they had a chance to keep things going good.''

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Oklahoma star freshman Trae Young to enter NBA Draft

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Oklahoma star freshman Trae Young to enter NBA Draft

After a sensational freshman season at the University of Oklahoma, point guard Trae Young plans to enter the 2018 NBA Draft, according to a report by ESPN.

Young will be one of the most fascinating prospects in this class given the extreme highs and lows of his one college season. He vaulted into the top 10 in most mock drafts after beginning his freshman year on fire, but then began to slip over the final months as his shooting percentage dropped.


Right now the Wizards are lined up to be in the late teens, so it's unlikely he falls to their range. But at this point it's difficult to predict where he will go, whether that is top five or later in the lottery.

It really could go either way. Some teams may see him as a Steph Curry-like scorer who can hit shots from unusually deep range. There were certainly times where Young backed up those comparisons.

Teams could see his flaws as a result of opposing defenses honing in on him because they could at the college level. In the NBA he may have more space and therefore be able to play to his strengths.


Or, teams could look at the fact he shot 36.1 percent from three on a whopping 10.2 attempts per game as a sign he is a chucker. He also led the nation in turnovers, commiting 24 more than the next guy. Young averaged 5.2 giveaways per game.

While Curry is the best-case scenario, Jimmer Fredette may be the worst-case. Fredette was the 10th overall pick in 2011 and now plays in China. 

Young will be an intriguing prospect in the draft because the ceiling is high and the basement is low. 

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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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