Friday, December 17, 2010

Greinke Demands to be Traded

The Zach Greinke situation just got a lot more interesting.  According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, Greinke has officially been asked to be traded from the Kansas City Royals. 
Zack Greinke wants to be traded, and the Kansas City Royals intend to grant his wish.
Greinke fired his agent on Friday, the clearest indication yet of the ace right-hander’s desire to be sent to another club.
After Greinke switched representation from SFX Baseball to CAA, a high-ranking executive from another team told, “He really wants out of K.C.” Separate major-league sources confirmed that Greinke has unequivocally asked the Royals to be traded.
Apparently, Greinke is tired of losing, and at times became disengaged from the team last year.  While I understand this disappointment of being on a perennial loser, this isn't anything new for the Royals.  He knew what he was signing up for two years ago when he agreed to a 4 year $38M contract, so forgive me for not feeling too bad.

Just two seasons removed from a Cy Young season, there will be a long line of teams interested in obtaining Greinke.  The Yankees, Blue Jays, Brewers, Nationals, and Rangers have all been named as teams showing varying levels of interest in making a trade.  Big market teams like the Yankees will likely be concerned about Greinke's ability to handle the pressure of playing in a market whose media is relentless and overbearing.  While I tend to underplay the psychological card in most cases, in Greinke's case, I don't.  His problems with anxiety got so bad that he not only missed nearly the entire 2006 season trying to cope with the disorder, but also seriously considered retirement.  This is a legitimate concern, and likely one that should cause the Yankees, in particular, to pass on Greinke.  I'm not saying he can't pitch in New York.  I'm just saying that the risk exceeds his talent, and therefore, should probably be avoided.

Greinke's current contract situation makes him an attractive trade candidate.  He has only two years remaining on this contract at the reasonable price of $27M.  Unfortunately for the Royals, Greinke's public demand for a trade has likely reduced the potential haul the Royals thought they could receive in return for the right-hander.  One of the last reports I read was that the Royals wanted power hitting outfielder Travis Snyder and pitching prospect Kyle Drabek, plus another low end prospect, from the Blue Jays.  With Greinke's public demands, they'll likely only get one player of that quality, while having to fill out the rest of the trade with B and C grade prospects.  It should be noted that Greinke has a no trade clause that allows him to reject trades from up to fifteen predetermined teams.

Casey Close (you might remember him from the Derek Jeter negotiations) is reported to be Greinke's new agent.

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