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

  • Randy

    Disagree with most of what you said. Yes I agree not if it includes Travis Snider but Drabek and Arencebia any others, yes,yes. He is an ‘ace’ and they need that to compete. No Toronto is not a big media center to the Americans. I am sure that Farrell has given his input and blessing. Zack would be with a bunch of guys his age coming into their own. Great coaching. Plus Grienke, Marcum, Romero, Cecil, and now your 5th starter is much easier to fill or trade for. I think this is one of another bomb from AA in the net couple of days. Vernon to right field.

  • steve

    I think it would be a great move on behalf of “Alex the Great” imagine a starting five of;
    you gotta imagine your gunna get at least 75-80 wins now out of your starting five. now giving up Snider i don’t think is a big deal, a player like him could be picked up in free agency year after year, sure it might come with a price but that’s the nature of the sport without a salary cap. The jays got to start being a major player.

  • Mat Germain

    Love the comments guys, keep’em coming!

    To Randy: It’s not that Toronto is the media hype, it’s that Boston and New York are and that Greinke would be facing them a ton in the course of the season. Whether you like it or not, the Jays are in the AL East and therefore are in the highest pressure division in all of MLB. That, from what I’ve heard and read, is not what Greinke wants. I’d also add that I doubt KC makes the deal without Snider included based on what they’re asking from in rumored deals with Texas (Borbon, Perez, and Holland as a possible foundation to a deal with them).

    My opinion goes back to the Prince Fielder situation. The Jays are one of only a few teams who can afford him AND have the pitching to deal for him. If they trade for Greinke, they no longer have that option available to them. So to me, it’s Fielder or Greinke, and I’ll take Fielder 10 times out of 10.

    The rotation Steve mentions above is intriguing, but when it costs you Drabek, Snider, Stewart and another couple of prospects, it’s not worth it. One injury to Marcum and/or a couple of injuries and the Jays would be left sifting through the bottom of the barrel for a replacement. Depth is key in pitching, just ask the 2010 Red Sox.

    If the Jays are going to be a major player, they need to have one of the better lineups in MLB. They’re 1 big bat away from being there, so why deal a bat now? Snider will break through and make them regret it if they deal him. I, for one, certainly hope they don’t unless it’s for an upgrade like Matt Kemp.

  • Mat Germain

    Just to add some extra professional analysis out there, Jim Callis of Baseball America tweeted a response after being asked the following:

    “@renegadeda: drabek, hech, perez for grienke fair?”

    That would be one starter which is less than what KC wants, Adeiny, and Carlos Perez

    Jim’s response:

    “#Royals can do better than that. His contract runs thru 2012, no need to rush trade”

    You get a feeling that throughout the industry, people know KC can land a huge deal for Zack. They’re in no rush to deal him, at least until Cliff Lee signs, and can ask for a King’s ransom after that happens. That’s why I think the Jays will walk away. A king’s ransom based on market conditions is just not worth it.

  • Randy

    Mat,I don’t think Prince is an AA guy and Milwaukee and Boras are a rock and a hard place so no rush there; they will take less. Grienke does pitch in the A.L.and has quite well. I think he has had time to mature and the key wants to win NOW. He is available now and this might be the best deal not later in the year for KC. If Lee signs with Texas, Grienke isn’t going to NY or Boston. Also Toronto will pick up the salary which is not insignificant to KC. I might be inclined to think Arizona might be in the mix as this deal may push AA to go in another direction – center field.

  • Mat Germain

    To Randy:

    That’s a really interesting take on it. I had considered the “what if” of when Lee signs with NY and less so of if he signs with Texas. If Greinke truly wants to stay away from NY or BOS, teams like TOR/LAA/CHW would become favorites.

    I have also heard about both Fielder and Boras wanting to play it out until he reaches FA. However, when BOS just landed Adrian Gonzalez, I think the game changed. Here’s a list of the big spending teams and their 1B:

    NY – Mark Texeira
    BOS – Adrian Gonzalez
    LAA – Kendry Morales
    PHI – Ryan Howard
    MIN – Justin Morneau
    STL – Albert Pujols
    CIN – Joey Votto
    CHW – Adam Dunn / probably Paul Konerko

    That doesn’t leave Scott and Prince with much leverage come FA time. Sure, he can be used as a full time DH, but he won’t get anywhere near the money he wants in that role and it takes away all NL teams like the Mets and Dodgers. I still believe there’s a great chance he’ll be a Jay by the time 2011 starts – whether it’s as a rental player or with an extension signed.

    Regardless of how we spin it, the price being reported is still way too steep for Greinke.

    As for Arizona, they’re cutting costs as far as I know, not increasing them, so I’m not sure Zack’s high on their list. I could be wrong, but that’s the sense I got last season when they started shedding salary and thought that was why they were shopping Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds.

    I love the he “wants to win NOW” comment. If he did, he’d sign with the Yanks and call it a day. He wants to win, but he wants to do so under his own terms and with the team that gives him the best chance to do so. Do you really believe he looks at the Jays that way? When they’re facing the newly supped up Red Sox and still wealthy Yankees? I would think he’d see the Jays as a major underdog, not a favorite. So if he does want to win now, he’ll avoid the Jays at all costs and go for an easier playoff route in the AL West – whether it’s with Texas or the Angels.

    Just my thoughts on your great comments Randy!

  • Jared Macdonald

    Again, it all depends on the price, which is a minimum of four players.

    There’s not a prayer that Snider is included in any Greinke deal, but the Jays could technically absorb the loss of Drabek + others to trade for Greinke.

    Just because they could, should they? As I stated before almost one month ago, absolutely not. The Jays are giving up 3-4 quality pieces to overpay for two years of Greinke (which I’m not saying would be a bad thing) at $13.5M each.