Greinke likes direction Brewers are headed
MILWAUKEE — Zack Greinke loves the attitude of the Milwaukee Brewers and their willingness to try to reach the postseason immediately.
“The main reason I wanted to get out, I mean, preferred to get out of Kansas City, is I wanted to be on a team that was trying to win this year because as a pitcher you don’t really know how long your career is going to be,” Greinke said Monday, a day after he was acquired from the Royals in a six-player trade.
After winning the AL Cy Young Award with a 16-8 record and 2.16 ERA in 2009, the 27-year-old righthander slumped to 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA last season.
“Just really wanted to be in a place where they were playing to win games right away,” he said.
INDIANS: Even as he packed his bags for New York, Austin Kearns knew there was a good chance he would be back in Cleveland.
Kearns, who spent four months with the Indians last season before he was traded to the Yankees, returned to the club on Monday by agreeing to a $1.3 million, one-year contract. Kearns made Cleveland’s roster out of training camp and was with the Indians until July 30, when he was dealt for pitcher Zach McAllister.
NATIONALS: Stephen Strasburg says his rehabilitation is “on track” and he hopes to start throwing a few weeks before spring training.
“It’s going great right now,” the Washington Nationals pitcher said Monday during a telephone conference call from San Diego. “I’ve been making big strides.”
Strasburg’s sensational rookie season was cut short by reconstructive elbow surgery in September. He said he’s getting physical therapy three times a week, in sessions of two to three hours, and that he’ll emerge “probably in a lot better shape” than he ever was.
Also on Monday, outfielder Rick Ankiel and the Nationals agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year contract. The deal includes $1.25 million in performance bonuses: $200,000 each for 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 plate appearances, and $250,000 for 375.
ASTROS: Free agent infielder Bill Hall finalized a $3.25 million, one-year contract with Houston that includes a mutual option for 2012. Monday’s agreement includes a $4 million option.
Hall spent last season with the Boston Red Sox. Houston general manager Ed Wade says he will play second base regularly for the Astros.