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Dan Haren, Josh Hamilton developments could help Dodgers' pursuit of Zack Greinke

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The early part of the second day of baseball's winter meetings hasn't been too eventful, but news regarding Dan Haren and Josh Hamilton could help the Dodgers land starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

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Day two of the winter meetings in Nashville has been relatively quiet so far, especially for the Dodgers. Outside of the Dodgers being one of five teams interested in relief pitcher Mark Lowe, as reported by Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the main Dodgers-related speculation of the day has been Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reporting that the club is looking for a shortstop or third baseman to pair with Hanley Ramirez, and seeming to seek an "all-star at all positions."

But a pair of developments could in fact help the Dodgers in their pursuit of Zack Greinke. On Tuesday morning, the Nationals signed Dan Haren, formerly of the Angels, to a one-year, $13 million contract. The deal could prove highly rewarding for the Nats if Haren is healthy, but that is a large if. But more importantly, it fills their starting rotation and likely knocks them out of the Greinke sweepstakes.

The other development is that the Rangers and Josh Hamilton are "making progress" toward a deal, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, likely to be four years. Texas has been thought to be the Dodgers' chief competitor for Greinke, and in theory spending big money to keep Hamilton could hamper the Rangers' ability to spend on Greinke.

Which could mean Greinke's main suitors are in southern California, with the Dodgers and Angels fighting it out. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com characterized the Angels as "lying in the weeds" for Greinke, while Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times said Greinke was the Angels' first choice at starting pitcher.

Notes

  • Maury Brown at Baseball Prospectus interviewed Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten, and I found this nugget specifically interesting:

    "The other aspect that made our purchase unique and not compliable to other franchise valuations is that we bought a club through bankruptcy and as part of that arrangement the league made special deals with the former owner and the bankruptcy court to smooth the workings of the sale," Kasten said. "And due to that, our purchase is going to be governed by the bankruptcy court in perpetuity."
  • Tuesday is the 10th anniversary of the Dodgers trading all-time L.A. home run leader Eric Karros and Mark Grudzielanek to the Cubs for catcher Todd Hundley and prospect Chad Hermansen. Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times has more details.
  • Adam Rubin of ESPN New York spoke with R.A. Dickey's agent, Bo McKinnis, who said he wouldn't be surprised if the knuckleballers was traded by the Mets.
  • The market for Marco Scutaro is heating up, as Buster Olney of ESPN reported that bidding for the 37-year old infielder has reached three years, $24 million, and that the Giants are considered the favorites to retain the NLCS MVP.
  • Eric Hinske, who Don Baylored his way to three straight World Series from 2007-2009 with three different teams, signed a one-year deal with the Diamondbacks.