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Brewers “preparing to move” Zack Greinke if they can’t sign him to extension

Jun 26, 2012, 2:42 PM EDT

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Zack Greinke is three months from cashing in as a free agent and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that other teams believe the Brewers are preparing to trade him if they can’t agree to a long-term extension by July 31.

Milwaukee is 7.5 games out of the NL Central lead at 33-40, but the addition of the second Wild Card playoff spot will make it tougher for under-performing teams like the Brewers to commit to being sellers as early as usual.

General manager Doug Melvin told Rosenthal that no decisions have been made about potentially trading veterans and also declined to specifically address Greinke’s contract status.

Greinke has been fantastic for the Brewers since they acquired him from the Royals in December of 2010 for Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, and Jeremy Jeffress, starting 43 games with a 3.46 ERA and 300/66 K/BB ratio in 268 innings. That includes a 15-0 record and 2.47 ERA in 21 starts at Miller Park.

He seems destined to top $100 million as a free agent, so the Brewers’ three choices are making a huge long-term commitment, getting prospects for him via trade, or taking draft picks when he walks. In theory that should set the baseline for the Brewers’ asking price as more value than a first-round pick and a supplemental first-round pick, and it’s also worth noting that if Greinke is traded his new team won’t be eligible for that same compensation thanks to changes in the collective bargaining agreement.

  1. deathmonkey41 - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I think he’s got a ton of talent, but I still don’t want to see him on the Yankees.

    • nategearhart - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      Knowing what I know of him (not much at all of course, I’m just a Royals fan), I don’t see him wanting to go anywhere that has a reputation for a$$hole media.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

        Only knowing what I’ve read about him he apparently got tired of playing for a loser and wanted and got out of Kansas City.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        He apparently suffers from some substantial social anxiety. Being under the scruinity New York players are under, he might make AJ Burnett look sane.

      • nategearhart - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        uyf1950, yes that is correct. The Kansas City Royals have been a pretty bad baseball team for some time now, and Zack didn’t think that the team would be competitive in the time frame that his next contract would last. As it was not economically or competitively viable at the time for the Royals to spend Greinke’s worth on one pitcher, it behooved both parties for them to part ways.

        BTW, my comment was not a derision of the New York Yankees, or the city of New York, but rather of the most vocal parts of the media that covers New York sports. I try to avoid subjectivity and fanboyishness (New word? New word.)

      • uyf1950 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        nategearhart, my apologies then for misunderstanding your comment. I did take it as a knock against both the city and the team.

      • nategearhart - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:03 PM

        No worries, I know that would usually be the case. Also, I think the media is quite petty most everywhere, none more so than Boston ;).

      • southpaw2k - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:28 PM

        I heard the same thing that deathmonkey had said, that Greinke would never want to play in a big market like NY because of his social anxiety. In a way, that’s kind of ironic given how much coverage he gets from the national media in small markets like KC and Milwaukee. Still, I imagine even if he hits free agency, he wouldn’t want to play in LA, Chicago, Boston, Philly, or New York.

        Of course, that presents another irony in that smaller markets – like say, Baltimore – wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford him anyway.

  2. Andee - Jun 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    It makes me very happy to see Greinke on the cusp of a huge payday. His anxiety/depression issues almost derailed his start in KC, and I’m thrilled he’s worked through that to become a top-flight guy once again. He was one of the first to sort of embrace the idea that life as a rich baseball player can still be affected by mental disorders, and that there is help for you if you need it. That said, I’d also say maybe it’s better he continue pitching in the smaller markets.

  3. brewcitybummer - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Considering that trading Greinke costs the Brewers the 1st round pick they would receive if they let him walk but now with the new CBA the team trading for Greinke doesn’t pick up those rights, I have this feeling the Brewers have lots of talks and we hear a million rumors but hes still a Brewer on August 1st.

    Maybe I’m completely misjudging how much a team is willing to pay for a Greinke rental though.

  4. jebjja - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Wooooo….Wooo….Woooo…..YOU KNOW IT!

  5. silversun60 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Please make your way to Toronto. You can be our 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th starter at the moment.

  6. trackman12 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Greinke to Toronto would be fine with me as long as we get Lawrie back! Lol

    • dlindstedt2 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      That will never happen for one reason, and one reason alone.

      Lawrie doesn’t want to play here, he never did.

      He had a huge problem with the Milwaukee Brass. In his words, they tried to change who he was. Which was never the case, he just never really had an interest in playing here. So that trade would never work.

      • trackman12 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        I’m sure 90% of MLB players don’t want to play in Milwaukee. Too bad, they are getting paid to do a job and when their contracts are up they’re free to leave.

      • nightman13 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        @trackman12

        What makes you say that?

      • hodaghunter - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        Know your facts, the brewers organization allowed Lawrie the freedom to make his own decisions in regards to his career. Allowing him to change from Catcher to 2nd baseman to 3rd baseman in the minors because Lawrie wanted to be fast tracked to the majors. In addition Lawire was a constant attitude problem, the issue was so bad that ESPN did a special that focused mainly on him when discussing minor league players with ego issues in a no-collar working environment. I would never want Lawrie in my organization again. Brewers bent over backwards for this kid and he still was crying

  7. bougin89 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    I don’t see anyway we lock him up with an extension unless Mark A REALLY opens up his pockets…we just have too many holes to fill. I hate to see him go because he’s been great for us but we need to get a few stud prospects for him if we can.

  8. muskyhunter2542 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    With what The Brewers gave up for him, I cannot see any he isnt a Brewer for years to come.

    • nightman13 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      The Brewers were going all in on a World Series run last season and came up short. Just because they gave up a ton doesn’t necesarily mean they will be able to resign him for a price that allows them to compete.

      I hope they do find a middle ground though, he’s a great fit on the Brewers.

    • brewcitybummer - Jun 26, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      That way you’re not seeing is if some team blows the market away to the tune of 7 years and 22+ million a year. That’s the high end of what he might get in free agency, of course but frankly the high end seems like the most likely outcome when it comes to elite free agents these days.

      And the idea of an elite would be free agent signing an extension 3 months from free agency seems blindly optimistic to me.

  9. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Nothing about what Rosenthal reported should be news to anyone.

  10. illegalblues - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    c’mon braves

  11. gpatrick15 - Jun 26, 2012 at 4:02 PM

    Your move, Atlanta

  12. ufullpj - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    I do think there’s a better chance of Grienke staying in Milwaukee than there was of Fielder, but maybe not a great chance. To me, the team no one is talking about yet – and maybe Rosenthal mentions tham – is Baltimore. I can see Angelos ponying up the cash for Grienke, and the prospects needed to get him from MKE.

    For the Brewers to trade him, they need a contender with a stocked and loaded MLB-ready minor league system – and that really narrows down the field.

  13. willsolo - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    I know this will never happen with their current horrendous contracts, but imagine Greinke as a SF Giant? Think about it, it’s a large city where the media isn’t as insane as NY, Boston or Philly. I mean they still love Tim Lincecum with all the struggles he’s gone through this year. Like I said, it’s never going to happen, but imagine a rotation of Cain, Bumgarner, Greinke as the Top 3? It’s insane.

  14. APBA Guy - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    I’m sure Zach, being from Orlando, would love to pitch in Atlanta, or maybe Tampa. But neither of those teams can take the free agent plunge he’ll require. Maybe Miami would work for him, but something tells me we’ll be surprised where he ends up. My guess (only a guess) is White Sox.

  15. buffalomafia - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    The Braves choked on Youkilis! What makes you think they will get Greinke?

    New York bound!

    • herbhatleejr - Jun 27, 2012 at 12:30 AM

      What makes you think the Braves “choked” on Youkilis. He is an aging injury prone player that would be added to the Braves roster as nothing more than a backup for Chipper on his off days, or Freddie Freeman. Even though Boston was willing to include 5.5 million to the team that landed him, he would still be nothing more expensive version of Eric Henskie.

      The Braves have again started to put Martin Prado at 3B at a more frequent clip, when Chipper is out, instead of the free swinging Juan Fransico.

      Frank Wren and the Braves organization know how valuable their farm system is, and are in a great position to turn those talents into future Braves starters or if the deal is right, use them in acquiring current MLB talent, such as Greinke. Last year, the Braves were in on Hunter Pence and/or Michael Bourn, and no matter how hard they pushed, he refused to give up Brandon Beachy/Minor/Delgado/or Tehran. Albeit, Minor is experiencing more struggles than successes, the Braves management has shown that they are patient and deliberate.

      The Braves deciding not to pursue the Youkilis trade is not a choke, rather a smart business move that should pay off with more wins not only in the short term, but over the course of a few years.

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