Monday, January 3, 2011

Greinke Turned Down Nats Trade Despite Offer of Extension

I may rip on Jon Heyman quite a bit, but it’s mostly in fun.  Still, I have to give him a little credit every so often.  He has a way of digging up information on a story—even when one doesn’t exist.  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

greinke rejected #nats but accepted #brewers bec he believes milwaukee can win sooner, i hear. also said to like city

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  Despite signing Jayson Werth to a massive 7 year $126M contract, the Nationals are still at least three years away from being serious playoff contenders.  Outside of Werth, only All-Star third baseman Ryan Zimmerman could be classified as an established organizational cornerstone.  While they do have some very interesting young talent in Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmerman, Drew Storen, and Bryce Harper, each of them come with their own set of questions.  In the case of Strasburg and Zimmerman, those questions primarily deal with their ability to return to form after Tommy John surgery.   

Still, Greinke’s concerns didn’t stop the Nationals from trying to sweeten the pot by offering him a “big” contract extension.  While there is neither word regarding the size of the Nationals offer, nor positive confirmation of this report, I tend to believe it’s pretty reliable.  According to Tom Boswell of the Washington Post indicated that the Nationals "...think Greinke is better than [Cliff] Lee and four years younger and are far more interested in him."  Lee and Greinke have a remarkably similar skill set, so it makes sense that the Nationals would be so aggressive in trying to obtain Greinke via any means imaginable.  Any time you can trade for someone you believe will become “next Cliff Lee,” and then lock him up to a long-term extension, you have to do it.  Right? 

Losing Greinke to the Brewers has to be a huge blow to a team trying to not only build a competitive roster, but also rebuild their public image.  Still, it’s not a total loss.  The Nationals front office deserves a lot of credit for being aggressive in their pursuit of Greinke.  They did everything they could.  In the end, it wasn’t about the money.  He just wasn’t comfortable with their ability to compete during the next two years.

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