The Zack Greinke Saga Continues

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Jared MacDonald recently posted the argument against the Jays obtaining Zack Greinke and based some of the rumors on reports made by Bob Elliott. Well, Bob is at it again as he release the second such report in which he states that the Jays are still after the Royals ace. I’m starting to wonder whether it’s the Jays who want to see Zack in a Jays uniform, or whether Bob himself wants the Jays to make that splashy move. Before I go on, I want to add that I always read what Bob has to say and appreciate his work.

Mr. Elliott states the following in the same article:

“Greinke, who turned 27 two months ago, could probably be had for former No. 1 picks Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider and some minor leaguers.”

Let me catch my breath here as my heart rate comes down from the increase to 200 beats per minute as I read that sentence. That Bob believes the Jays are willing to give their top prospect, who is affordable and under control for another bunch of years, and the guy who was named “The Franchise” when he arrived in Toronto at the tender age of 20, is only 22, and is also cheap and just finding his form – along with other minor leaguers nonetheless, in return for a guy who hates the spotlight is a little frightening to say the least.  I know that other teams are reportedly having to deal the same caliber of players to get it done, but there’s a reason it hasn’t happened yet as it’s way too steep a price to pay.

This is the kind of move that I’d expect from JP Ricciardi, not Alex Anthopolous. Perhaps Bob should take note of Alex’s last 3 trades and get back to us on his prediction. I don’t even think Zack wants any part of “the challenge” of playing in the AL East, never mind coming North of the border. He reportedly wants nothing to do with the media frenzies and wants to remain out of the spotlight, so Toronto is not the place for him at all, particularly if the Jays intend on building a high-pressure situation and dynasty.

I’m sorry, but if the Jays include either Snider or Drabek in a deal for Greinke I will be one pissed off fan. If the Jays want to fight the Red Sox and Yanks while keeping their budget under or just over 100 million, they need Snider and Drabek type players. Players who’ll blossom into stars and will still be affordable long term. Players who will become the key pieces to the dynasty the Jays want to build. The Yankees had Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Mariano Rivera as their core, let the Jays find their own core which could feasibly include these 2 players. I can honestly tell you that I don’t see Zack being part of any core for a Jays dynasty, so why deal that much for him?

If the Jays do deal Travis Snider, it better be for a huge bat, not for an arm that could fall off at any time and leave you with nothing. For the love of the Jays, don’t get involved with Zack Greinke unless you’re able to deal a lesser ceiling pitcher and broader overall package for him. I’m not saying he’s not a great pitcher, because he obviously is, I’m just saying that he may not perform well at all in the AL East and could wind up draining the Jays of way too much talent for that let down.

The Jays are better off improving the lineup at this time and continuing to groom their starting pitching internally. While I appreciate Bob’s exposure of the Jays chase for the ace and also the fact that any offer thrown out by a writer can be torn apart, I just couldn’t stand watching both of those players blossoming in Royals uniforms. I’m certain his report is accurate in that the Jays want to keep close tabs of players they’re interested in and that they’re trying to talk the Royals down to their level, but just as they had to walk away from a Justin Upton deal I fully believe they’ll be forced to walk away from Zack Greinke, and here’s why I believe this is so:

  • Zack Greinke won’t approve a deal until Cliff Lee signs somewhere in the hopes that the Yankees will sign Lee and that the Rangers will make a move for him. This would keep him down South and out of the mayhem that is the NY media circus.
  • The Royals asking price is steep. No, it’s extremely steep in that they are asking for 2 top pitching prospects. The Jays would have to include another arm on top of Kyle Drabek, someone like Zach Stewart or Marc Rzepczynski, in order to make a deal happen. Having seen them draft as many pitchers as they did in the 2010 draft, I’m fairly comfortable stating that the Jays value starting pitching over anything else and will be very reluctant to give up 2 top pitching prospects and other pieces for one arm.
  • The Jays were reportedly very close to acquiring Dan Uggla, then were fighting hard to obtain Justin Upton, so why would they all of the sudden be looking to add a starter? I think the offense and the pen are still the Jays top priorities at this point and that they are keeping tabs on the Greinke situation in case KC’s price comes down enough to become affordable.
  • And finally but most importantly, when you look through Zack’s career stats, you can see that his “big season” looks more like an anomaly than consistent trend. His ERA has always been 3.47 or above and his whip has always been above 1.245 if you take away the 2009 season, so can the Jays really be sure that they’d be landing an ace? Shaun Marcum bettered those trends twice in his career and Ricky Romero had similar stats in 2010. If the Jays believe that Brett Cecil and Brandon Morrow will continue to improve and trust the stuff that Kyle Drabek has as much as they did when they asked for him in return for the best pitcher in Jays history, I just can’t fathom why they’d want to deal much to land Greinke. Maybe it’s a harsh evaluation, but I just don’t trust the “improvement” enough to support such a move.

Well, that’s my take on the Zack saga. Let another team take him on unless the price comes down big time. I’d much rather watch Kyle Drabek go through some struggles in 2011 in order to find his form in 2012 and beyond than to watch Greinke wilt in “the spotlight”. If the Jays can land him for much less than predicted by some, so be it and I’ll be the first to support the move. However, I predict he will be in Texas before long and that he’ll be having a nice steak dinner with none other than Nolan Ryan, the perfect influence for his talents. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News supports this in his article which states that the Yankees and the Rangers have been the most aggressive in the pursuit of Greinke, not the Blue Jays.

Man I hope I’m right.

- MG

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Tags: Brandon Morrow Brett Cecil Kyle Drabek Marc Rzepczynski Ricky Romero Travis Snider

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