The official start of the winter meetings is this morning, though Scott Boras, Jayson Werth and the Washington Nationals got the ball rolling Sunday afternoon with a deal that has many in the industry slapping their foreheads. Seven years at $126 million for Werth has folks speculating that Carl Crawford (and, eventually, Josh Hamilton) will be cashing in at even higher dollars. Ditto for Cliff Lee.
Say the Rangers are priced out on Lee. What, then, do the Rangers want to surrender in a trade with Kansas City for Zack Greinke? The Royals want to do a deal with the Rangers, said a baseball source, and the Rangers are willing. Currently, though, the Royals' asking price is too steep.
Memo to Dayton Moore: Martin Perez isn't going anywhere. But what package of players should the Rangers be willing to trade away for Greinke, the 2009 Cy Young winner? The Royals want prospects, like Perez and Jurickson Profar, and young major-league-ready players, like Derek Holland, Michael Kirkman and Chris Davis. Is a Holland-Davis-Profar package attractive to the Royals, who are now loaded with young talent? That seems reasonable from a Rangers perspective.
Of course, Lee remains the Rangers' priority. They believe their strength is proximity to Lee's Arkansas home, no state income tax in Texas and the bond formed during the run to the World Series. The Yankees' strength is deep pockets and a winning pedigree. A source said that the Rangers have not made a formal offer. That might put the Lee signing on a timetable that extends past these meetings, which end Thursday.
-- Jeff Wilson