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The Yankees could have had Zack Greinke

Dec 20, 2010, 10:05 AM EDT

Greinke throwing

Jon Heyman tweets that the Royals asked the Yankees for Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez in exchange for Zack Greinke and told the Yankees that Greinke would drop his no-trade clause.  The Yankees rejected the offer, however, because they did not believe that Greinke was a good fit for New York.

It’s interesting that the reason for the Yankees putting the kibosh on the deal was not the asking price but the whole Greinke-can’t-handle-New York thing. Potentially presumptuous — God help Brian Cashman if Greinke and the Brewers go deep into the playoffs this year — but also reflective of the risks involved.

  1. BC - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    But is Greinke in the best shape of his life?

    • Ari Collins - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:27 AM


    • scatterbrian - Dec 20, 2010 at 1:26 PM

      no, though the rumor is he’s been working on adding a splitter to his arsenal…

  2. wonkypenguin - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this conundrum of someone not being able to “handle” New York. It seems sort of…paradoxical for the same people who will most likely CAUSE New York to be “difficult” to be claiming that the Yankees can’t get a brilliant young pitcher because of the difficulty. Maybe if the writers stop being a**holes (why don’t people ever write that as**oles?) then they can get the players they want instead egomaniacs who can “handle” them. Beyond that, we rarely hear this about someone signing with the Mets. I just think the Yankees are wrong about him and I also think that the fans’ treatment of Cliff Lee in the playoffs (within earshot of his wife) may have contributed to losing out on him, as it has been documented during the Leebacle.

    Don’t get me wrong – I hate the Yankees because I’m not a Yankee fan and am required to do so. I just don’t get the “handle” thing. If you have someone struggling, then protect him a little more. It doesn’t seem like rocket science.

    • skipperxc - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:26 AM

      Asking New Yorkers to be reasonable? Inconceivable!

    • Ari Collins - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:28 AM

      +1 for commentary, +3 for “Leebacle”.

  3. Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    Call me crazy, But I think this guy will probably be more effective over the next 7 years than Lee . You’re willing to go 7 years on Lee, who’s kinda old. But not trade for a couple seasons of a much Younger Greinke? That makes no sense if you’re going to use the whole ” He wasn’t cut out for the NYYankees” excuse. He could be traded again if that’s the case. Much less risk than the huge Lee deal right? I call BS on that. Either they valued the prospects more or the Royals liked the other deal better. Don’t try to tell us “you didn’t think he was a good fit” with his much, much, less risky contract terms, because that’s just BS. Again Yankee fans you are being BS’ed.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:43 AM

      Okay…you’re crazy.

      Methinks Cashman is suddenly developing the GM version of the yips.

  4. amhendrick - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    I wouldn’t rule out concern over playing in New York as a real consideration. They took another shot at Javy Vazquez and got burned (whether or not his ability to handle NY was a cause, it’s got to be on their minds) plus Grienke has a history of anxiety disorder.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM

      Vazquez’s sheer unclutchityness caused him to get hurt and lose several mph off his fastball. That’s why Greinke could never handle NY.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:42 AM

        Unclutchityness? Now, I’m one to make up my own words now and then, but…wow.

    • IdahoMariner - Dec 20, 2010 at 12:25 PM

      The source of Zack’s anxiety disorder is off-the-field life, and his ability to cope with it. Not on the field — he’s happiest there. A good sign that this is true? His willingness to drop the no-trade clause. Another good way to know — ask Zack. Or google it. ( )
      Or talk to a professional who could give them some insight into the disorder. That the Yankees apparently applied the same analysis and understanding that you or I would as a fan (i.e., just reasoning it out based on what we’ve randomly read and heard) is crazy. That analysis is ok for us, not so great for a guy in charge of making multi-million dollar decisions. I always thought a kick-ass, cheap-contract Cy Young pitcher is a good fit anywhere. The Yankees should be screaming for Cashman’s head.

  5. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    Considering the variance in prospects, not sure if I liked the deal from the Yanks. Montero would clearly be the jewel of the trade amongst the Brewers/Yanks, but Nunez is worse defensively than Escobar and only slightly better with the bat. But this does bring up an interesting point. Far too often fans blast other team’s fans for their ridiculous trade proposals, but how often [especially pitchers] do we see below market deals actually get the player? Greinke and Santana recently. Halladay maybe? Schilling from Ari to the Sox was another. Is this exclusive to pitchers? Sox gave up a lot of good prospects for Gonzalez. Teixeira’s trades involved lots as well.

  6. Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Ok, now who thinks the Rays will trade Garza to their biggest rival???? Anyone ?

  7. uyf1950 - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    I’m always impressed by how much fans of other baseball teams think they know about the Yankees and Yankee Fans. Most have never been to New York or to a Yankee game. Their entire life’s experience of New York has been what they read in the newspapers or on the internet or see on television. And they call “us” arrogant.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:07 AM

      Yeah because ONLY Yankee fans are smart enough to comment on all things “Yankee related”….. Here we go with the temper tantrums now that the Yankees off season is finally a bust for a change. Well this is exactly why people call y’all arrogant. I mean you came out of the gate basically saying no one but yankee fans can accurately speak “Yankee”. Then try to imply it’s arrogance that makes them think they can do such a thing…. How much more arrogant can YOU get 1950??

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:40 AM

        How arrogant of you to speak in such a manner to a member of the Evil Empire, Jonny!!! Don’t you know that it isn’t a two way street?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:49 AM

        I’m sorry, I guess the whole “Lee” thing has my head all swelled up. I am now re- humbled. Thank you sir.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:53 AM

        In a related story: did you see this?

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 20, 2010 at 1:00 PM


      • bigharold - Dec 20, 2010 at 5:29 PM

        “In a related story: did you see this?”

        That was hilarious! Except for that part about not going to the Yankees because he ddn’t want to sell his soul. That was just mean spirited

    • Ari Collins - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:10 AM

      Gotta agree with Johnny. Living in New York or attending a few Yankee games has literally nothing to do with analyzing moves objectively. If anything, it hurts you in that regard.

    • jhu1997 - Dec 21, 2010 at 12:38 AM

      Wow. That was *beautiful*. Was it deliberate? Because, if not, that is simply the least self-aware comment I’ve read in my entire life.

      Simply beautiful.

  8. pisano - Dec 20, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    Sorry, I’m not buying that trade proposal. KC would have wanted much more than Montero and Nunez. Just think about it, two prospects(both unproven) for a guy like Greinke, anxiety disorder or not. If you believe that I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that’s for sale real cheap.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:04 AM

      Montero is WAY better than anyone KC got from MIL, though. You would almost always prefer quality to quantity.

  9. jfk69 - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Nunez who is now out of a job with Jeters resigning. After watching him play.. he is not the answer for Jeters replacement anyway. So…In effect it was Montero for Zach straight up.
    Cashman…YOU BLEW THIS ONE!
    If he didn’t pan out..only stuck with him for two years. And you talk about upside,signing bums who haven’t played in years. Could have had a Cy Young winner in his prime for an unproven catcher at least a year away from the majors.
    I call you triple c
    clueless cashless cashman

    • pisano - Dec 20, 2010 at 11:55 AM

      jfk69, I understand your frustration, but like you said Nunez would not have been the answer at ss, all the more reason to not believe this supposed trade. Dayton Moore is no dummy, he’s not going to trade a top of the line pitcher for a defensively unproven minor league catcher that hasn’t seen major league pitching. Lets wait to see what he was really asking for Greinke. If by chance this was the real deal then I agree with your feelings !00% and the Yankees should have Cashman head.

  10. thejokewriter - Dec 20, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    Love it. Just look out for the Cubs. I know, I know.

    • pisano - Dec 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM

      Your handle says it all. Good luck Cubbies !

  11. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Craig will never revisit this page but with that said what he fails to mention here is that Zack had some emotional problems he had to overcome and that is why the Yankee brass didnt think he was the best fit since you are under a microscope in NY but craigy boy likes to leave them facts out.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jun 29, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      I see all the comments, Harry, even the ones on old posts. And if you bothered to search the archives at all, you’d note that I’ve mentioned Greinke’s anxiety disorder and its potential impact on his trade value and the potential markets in which he might pitch several times.

      Or were you just counting on me not reading your comment so you could point back to it later as if you were some kind of sage?

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