As the Cliff Lee negotiations come to a close, the rumors surrounding Zach Greinke have started to pick up. So far, he’s been linked to potential trades with the Rangers, Yankees, and Blue Jays, among others. In an interview with the Kansas City Star, Royals GM Dayton Moore had this to say regarding the Greinke rumors:
“I haven’t made one call to one organization asking them if they’re interested in Zack Greinke.”
Does Moore really have to make any calls for Greinke? Probably not. All he has to do is ask one of his minions to leak a rumor of his availability and teams will flock to him. Greinke was the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner after all, so it stands to reason he’d be in high demand.
Moore seems to want some semblance of plausible deniability. I get it. I really do. For a team that’s been one of the sport’s bottom feeders for the past fifteen years, it’s probably not the greatest public relations move for Moore to be openly shopping his ace. Most fans are frustrated and restless. They’re not going to understand the motivation behind trading Greinke away*--even if the motivation is well thought out and rational.
* I actually think it’s a smart move for the Royals to trade him. This past summer, Greinke made it no secret that he was frustrated with the direction of the franchise. While the Royals have a stacked farm system—and I do mean stacked—they’re still a year or two away from their prospects being ready to compete at the big league level. Once the prospects reach the majors, there’s a year or two of growing pains and adjustments. In reality, the Royals are 3-4 years away from being legitimate contenders.
Greinke’s contract is up at the end of the 2012 season. With the team likely still treading water at that point, he’ll probably leave KC for greener pastures. Therefore, it’s probably a better idea to trade Greinke this offseason, while his trade value is at its peak.
It’s intellectually dishonest for Moore to claim they “haven’t made one call” and are “only listening,” when it’s a well known fact that he’s actively shopping Greinke all over the league. After all of the suffering he’s imposed on the Royals in the past week, it probably would’ve behooved him to keep his mouth shut about the Greinke situation.