CINCINNATI -- A report that the Brewers offered right-hander Zack Greinke a five-year contract extension in excess of $100 million was "pretty accurate," Greinke said Friday. But Greinke, a free agent after the season, felt uncomfortable revealing more, including whether he and agent Casey Close were receptive to such an offer, or whether talks with the Brewers would continue. "That's tricky stuff," Greinke said. "I don't want to get involved with telling you guys too much about it."
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported the offer, and said it was made more than a week ago. It was in the neighborhood of, or equal to, the agreement struck at the end of Spring Training between the Giants and right-hander Matt Cain, a statistically comparable player to Greinke entering the season. Cain's extension added five years and $112.5 million to his existing contract. Heyman wrote, citing an unnamed source, "There's nothing yet to indicate [Greinke] will sign quickly and give up free agency." Greinke would not comment on that, saying with a smile, "I just gave you that one thing. I figured that was as good as I could do." Brewers general manager Doug Melvin declined comment this week about the club's status with Greinke. Melvin has pointed out many times that players within a few months of free agency rarely sign contract extensions without first testing the open market. Melvin wouldn't reveal whether the Brewers had made the offer. "Don't have to," he said. Greinke, 28, and Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels are the most attractive pitchers set to reach free agency after this season if they eschew extensions with their current clubs. The Brewers have been trying to lock up Greinke since Spring Training, when they dealt with him directly because he was operating without an agent. On the same day the Giants signed Cain, Greinke re-hired noted agent Casey Close. Shortly thereafter, negotiations with the Brewers broke off. Greinke is 9-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 20 starts this season, with 117 strikeouts and 28 walks. He is 25-9 with a 3.72 ERA in 48 Brewers starts since Milwaukee and Kansas City swung a blockbuster trade in December 2010, and the Brewers have won 22 of Greinke's 23 starts at Miller Park. The Brewers skipped Greinke's last start after he posted a 9.00 ERA in four July starts, three of them in a strange stretch of consecutive Brewers games just before and after the All-Star break. He is scheduled to start next on Tuesday in Philadelphia. "It's a confidence thing as much as anything," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's getting back to that routine." Greinke wouldn't say whether he was feeling better after working with pitching coach Rick Kranitz over the past few days, saying "this meeting" with reporters, a rare one on a day he didn't pitch, was about the contract. Again, Greinke spoke with a smile. He chided the local beat writers for having to follow Heyman's report, scolding, "You have to get your claws in deeper somewhere." "I don't know where those [reporters] get that stuff," Greinke said of the flood of news and rumors that precede the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. "These guys must have their sources really good. It's pretty interesting how political everything is, I guess with every job."