PHOENIX -- The fact that free-agent-to-be Zack Greinke doesn't have an agent will not stop the Brewers from approaching him about a contract extension, said general manager Doug Melvin. He's been in this position before. Melvin cited December 1998, when he negotiated an $8.5 million deal with free agent Rafael Palmeiro. Earlier this month, Melvin told ESPN.com that he met Palmeiro at a hotel down the street from Rangers Ballpark and had the player write his proposal on a napkin. After getting ownership approval, they had a deal. "I like [Greinke] and I think more players should take control of their situation," Melvin said. "He's involved in a lot more than people think. You see him out here watching all of the other guys throw -- some pitchers go in, shower and go home. This guy is part of everything. He loves the game, and that's how it should be."
Greinke's deal will be more complicated than Palmeiro's. Greinke is due to earn $13.5 million for the second straight season, and could command a deal in the neighborhood of the Tigers' Justin Verlander (five years, $80 million). Verlander was two seasons shy of free agency when he signed and Greinke is only one.
Melvin had been asked to respond to Greinke's comments from the day before, when the right-hander said he would not hire an agent "for a while" because "there's no reason to have one at the moment." "I don't read too much into that," Melvin said. Melvin declined to say where talks currently stand with Greinke, who was previously repped by CAA Sports. Other under-30 starting pitchers due to reach free agency following the 2012 season are the Phillies' Cole Hamels, the Giants' Matt Cain, the Nationals' Edwin Jackson and the Brewers' Shaun Marcum.