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Zack Greinke, John Lackey now off pitching market

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Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In case you've been living under a rock, the Diamondbacks slithered in last night and agreed to terms with Zack Greinke for six years and $206,500,000, some of it deferred. The Pirates obviously weren't going to bid for Greinke, but they are surely trying to sign someone to improve their rotation, and one might think that would be somewhat easier now that Greinke and David Price have signed.

Unfortunately, some of the mid-market guys are gone now too -- J.A. Happ is a Blue Jay, John Lackey agreed to terms with the Cubs yesterday, and Brett Anderson accepted his qualifying offer. And there are still several bigger-payroll teams still looking for pitching help. The Cardinals were bidders for Price and still need someone, and the Giants and Dodgers bid for Greinke and need someone too.

I'm not sure where all this will end up, but I do feel an urgency for the Pirates that I didn't before. Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija, Mike Leake, Wei-Yin Chen, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Hisashi Iwakuma and Ian Kennedy are the big names remaining. The Bucs clearly aren't going to sign Cueto, and judging from reports that Samardzija has received offers in the $100,000,000 area, they probably aren't going to sign him either. Others from that group are questionable for the Bucs due to the length of their likely contract or to concerns about qualifying offers. By this point last season, the Pirates had already signed A.J. Burnett and traded for Francisco Cervelli; this year, there's been almost nothing to this point. There's still plenty of time, but the next week or so will be a crucial one with the Winter Meetings coming up.