Zack Greinke Trade Talk: Why NY Yankees Should Make an Offer ASAP
The New York Yankees just seem to be attached to every big-name pitcher out there whether that pitcher is truly on the market or not.
Also, Greinke will be a free agent next season even though the Brewers are interested in trying to sign him to an extension. However, no progress has been made on that front and as we've seen all happen before, if a player doesn't want to sign the extension, he won't sign the extension.
So the Brewers have to make a couple of decisions, one of which being whether or not to trade Zack Greinke.
Should the Brewers decide to trade him, here's why the Yankees should make an offer.
A Steady Track Record
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Zack Greinke's been one of the more stable pitchers in baseball with his ERA mainly staying in the 3.00-4.00 range since coming back from his sabbatical from the game.
His WHIP's been pretty good too, staying south of 1.30 since then. Greinke's also pitched in both the AL and NL, so he's not like some of the other pitchers when it comes to worrying about how switching leagues would affect them.
The New York Yankees would know what they're getting with Greinke. He's a good pitcher with solid stats all around year in and year out.
They don't have to worry about erratic play like they do with A.J. Burnett or injuries with Phil Hughes. Greinke can slide in behind CC Sabathia giving solid innings, length and wins.
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Zack Greinke's best pitch is his slider. That's what he gets most guys out on and keeps hitters up at night.
It has pretty high velocity (about 86-90 mph) and a sharp 12-6 drop. When paired with his fastball, it's one of the most unhittable pitches in all of baseball. Heck, I'd give my right arm to be able to throw that pitch.
Greinke's slider racks up the strikeouts, which is a good thing considering who's playing behind him.
Sure, the right side of the infield with Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira is fine. The left side is what I'm a little worried about.
The 73-year-old duo of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter is manning that side. Throw in backup Eduardo Nunez and his glove of questions and the New York Yankees have one of the shakiest shortstop-third base combo in baseball.
Greinke's slider would help reduce the amount of ground balls they'd have to field thanks to all the strikeouts.
Speaking of Strikeouts...
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Career K/BB: 3.48; 2011 season K/BB: 4.47 (fourth in the league)
Career K/9: 7.96; 2011 season K/9: 10.54 (first in the league)
Those are some pretty good numbers if you ask me. I'll take a guy who can strike out around eight batters every nine innings he pitches. I'll also take a guy who'll strikeout three more batters than he'll walk.
And that's not even looking at his strikeout stats from last year. Granted, I expect those numbers to drop a bit if he comes to the AL East and has to face all those patient Boston Red Sox hitters, but they shouldn't drop by too much.
After all, when he was still with the Kansas City Royals, his K/BB and K/9 were close to his career average.
Having two high strikeout guys in CC Sabathia and Zack Greinke would make the New York Yankees instant contenders for the World Series.
Yeah I said it, combine those two with the Yankee offense and bullpen and they have a good case for making the World Series.
In His Prime
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Zack Greinke is 28 years old, which means he's in prime and will be for the next couple of years or so.
If the New York Yankees make a trade for him now, they'll be getting him when he's at his best and he'll be at his best if the Yankees sign him to an extension.
CC Sabathia is 31 years old, which means he'll be leaving his prime in the next few years. Zack Greinke is three years younger, so it stands to reason that the Yankees will have Greinke in his prime for three years longer than Sabathia.
Freddy Garcia and A.J. Burnett are both 35, so their best years are behind them. They can still be decent, maybe even good, but it's hard to imagine them returning to their primes.
If the Yankees are going to make a trade for a pitcher—a great pitcher—then it should be one who's still in his prime and can help them for years to come.
Impending Free Agency
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Using this year's template of Prince Fielder likely, but not yet, leaving the team, it's safe to say that Zack Greinke will be the next to leave.
One of his reasons for choosing to accept the trade to the Milwaukee Brewers was because he felt the Brewers had a good chance of winning it all now, more so than some of the other teams, such as the Washington Nationals.
Now with Fielder not likely rejoining the team and Ryan Braun's suspension up in the air, the Brewers are going to find it hard to be at the top of the NL Central again.
Thus, Greinke could—and probably would—elect to leave through free agency, which means the Brewers might be looking to replace some of those pieces they lost when they traded for him.
With Jesus Montero and Dellin Betances, the New York Yankees have the pieces the Brewers would want in return. It's just a question of whether the Yankees would be willing to part with them.
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Right now, the New York Yankees have CC "Thank God We Have Him" Sabathia, Ivan "The Rookie Wonder" Nova, Freddy "The He's Still Pitching Well? Wonder", A.J. "He's Still a Yankee?" Burnett and Phil "What Happened?" Hughes.
I only really trust Sabathia. Nova is good and I like him, but I need another strong season from him before I feel good about him being the Yankees' number two pitcher.
As for the other three, you can probably tell by the question marks that they're question marks.
Garcia needs another miraculous season before people believe he's for real. Burnett needs an ERA that wouldn't shame his mother. Phil Hughes needs to become that pitcher everyone thought he was going to be when he was ranked the Yankees' number one prospect.
While I think this rotation could get the Yankees to the playoffs, adding a pitcher of Zack Greinke's caliber would bring them to the playoffs without question and maybe even more.
The Yankees have a good enough rotation right now, but Yankee fans want a good rotation with some depth.
The Free-Agent Market (or Lack Thereof)
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Hiroki Kuroda, Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson.
Those three are the last pitchers on the free-agent market who I'd be fine with if the New York Yankees signed them for a reasonable price.
However, Jackson is a Scott Boras client, so a reasonable price is out of the question.
Roy Oswalt is getting up there in age, as is the core of the Yankees roster, so I'd rather not have an aging pitcher who's only proven himself in the NL join the team.
Hiroki Kuroda is in the same boat as Oswalt in terms of age, but hasn't pitched in the majors as long as Oswalt has. Also, he's more likely to fill that reasonable price requirement than the other two.
All three of them, however, pale in comparison to Zack Greinke in terms of skill. Greinke is a better pitcher who's shown he can handle, even dominate, the AL.
I'd rather have Greinke behind Sabathia than any of those three.
Have You Seen the AL?
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Have you seen the AL?
Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson decided to team up with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Mike "I Find a Way to Win" Scioscia.
Yu "Believe the Hype" Darvish went to the Texas Rangers to join that perennially winning, stacked team.
Justin Verlander and his Detroit Tigers are ready to make another run at the playoffs.
The Red Sox aren't going to collapse again as much as every New York Yankee fan wishes they would. The Rays are going to somehow win 90 games again as Joe Maddon wins another Manager of the Year Award.
The Blue Jays seem poised to take another leap depending on if they make any major moves this offseason to help out Rickey Romero and Jose Bautista.
They've got a bunch of guys who joined the majors last season who are ready to help out, but the Blue Jays are missing some pieces to beat the other teams in their division for those playoff spots.
The Yankees are okay where they are, but knowing them and their win-now mindset, the Yankees would prefer to be the favorites. Adding Zack Greinke would be a step in that direction.
The next would be to prove it.
The New Playoffs
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Going off that last point, the MLB will be introducing a new playoff format which basically means an extra wild-card spot.
Looking at the teams I mentioned in the last slide and counting them up, that's seven teams for five spots. I'll admit I'm not a math major—if I was, I probably wouldn't be writing this—but seven is greater than five, which means two teams will be without spots at the end of the season.
The New York Yankees might get a spot with the team and rotation they have now. However, they, and their fans, would rather have a spot for certain.
To beat out those other teams, the Yankees would need to amp up their rotation. A one-two combo of CC Sabathia and Zack Greinke would be one of the best, if not the best, in the AL East.
Combine those two with the Yankees offense and bullpen, then the Yankees would claim a playoff spot without question.
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New York is a tough city to play in, especially if you're playing for the New York Yankees.
The Yankees are the epitome of success and winning championships. You don't win 27 championships and have people expect you to take a year off.
Yankee fans are accustomed to success with a good portion of the fans remembering the Joe Torre dynasty as the last example of Yankee dominance.
When the Yankees won it all again in 2009, fans expected another dynasty, but that hasn't happened as injuries and age have ravaged the roster.
Yankee fans are used to George Steinbrenner bringing in some new blood to improve the team. While that isn't the best strategy, two years of standing pat is longer than what most Yankee fans are used to.
The fans expected and are still expecting something this offseason to address the team's pitching needs. Zack Greinke could be that something.