NASHVILLE Jerry Dipoto will never say never, because an opportunity might arise or Angels owner Arte Moreno might hand him the equivalent of a blank check to pursue a player like he did with Albert Pujols last winter.
But based on the general manager's actions over the past 10 days and his comments as he left the winter meetings Thursday, it is clear that pitcher Zack Greinke will not be returning to Anaheim.
"We're prepared to move on from Zack," Dipoto said. "Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is make practical decisions."
On Wednesday, the Angels agreed to terms with starter Joe Blanton for two years and 15 million and reliever Sean Burnett for two years and 8 million.
The Blanton deal essentially killed the chance of Greinke or top-of-the-market starters such as Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse or Edwin Jackson pitching in Anaheim next season.
"Nobody operates without a ceiling," Dipoto said, when asked whether budget constraints pushed him toward Blanton.
The Angels had a...