Sitting at 16-22, currently settled at fifth place in the National League Central division, the Milwaukee Brewers must begin to ask themselves a number of important questions. Possibly the most meaningful of those questions, however, is what they intend to do with Zack Greinke.
After blowing through the New York Mets last Tuesday night to the tune of seven strikeouts, five hits, no runs and no walks allowed through seven innings, Greinke improved to 4-1 with a 2.88 ERA so far this season. But while Greinke's unambiguous dominance has helped Milwaukee arrive to this point of the season, it has also drastically increased his value across Major League Baseball.
Greinke is set to become a free agent at season's end, and many have speculated that his 2012 preponderance will make him one of the highest-paid free-agent starters this winter. The Brewers have made it known that they want to sign him to a contract extension, however, they also realize fully that many teams will be after his services this winter.
For the Brewers, who at this juncture look like they could be sellers at the July 31 trade deadline rather than a buyer, Greinke's future with the club seems uncertain. However, one thing remains clear: Milwaukee cannot allow yet another star (see Prince Fielder) to walk at season's end. Here are five reasons why.