MLB Trade Talk: Should the St. Louis Cardinals Pony Up for Zack Greinke?
A Wednesday, July 4 article from Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal noted it as a possibility when he suggested that Greinke would likely waive his no trade clause to go to St. Louis.
While Greinke is a top-notch starter, his anxiety issues would likely be less of an issue in the baseball-loving city. While St. Louis baseball gets lots of attention, it isn’t near the media hotbox that New York or Los Angeles would be for him.
Regardless, the Cardinals would likely welcome the 2009 AL Cy Young winner—at the right price.
A deal for Greinke wouldn’t be an easy move for several reasons.
1. Greinke-Carpenter 2011 NLCS
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While an incident like that might not be a deal-breaker, the Cardinals are very comfortable with the attitude of their clubhouse.
One of the reasons the team was able to make its late season-push in 2012 was because of how well the team mixed as a family.
Would a new guy who spoke openly about his distaste for Carpenter in October be good for the mix or could they let bygones be bygones?
2. Milwaukee May Not Trade in Division
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No team likes to trade their star players off inside their own division. Milwaukee will likely be no exception.
With that being said, after losing Prince Fielder, and now, likely their ace pitcher, they need to do whatever to get the pieces to be competitive.
The Brewers need to get a decent package for Greinke as they start trying to rebuild a team that has been hit hard in the last year.
Will the Cardinals shell out the Brewers' asking price? That remains to be seen.
3. The Cardinals Wouldn’t Want a Rental
Edwin Jackson worked out as a rental for the Cardinals in 2011, but chances are slim that's what they are after in 2012.
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If the Cardinals manage to coordinate a deal for Greinke, they won’t be trading for a rental player to finish out the season and then go his merry way.
With Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook both likely coming off the books after this season, the Cardinals are looking to the future.
They have top-notch pitching prospects, but they aren’t major-league ready at this point.
If they make a move, they will be looking at more than just help for 2012, but the future of the club.
4. The Cardinals Want to Keep Their Prospects
For two years, Shelby Miller has been the Cardinals' top prospect and ranks in the Top 10 in the nation.
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It’s a tough call what as to who the Cardinals are willing to part with in their farm system.
The general belief is that a Greinke deal will require multiple top-tier prospects.
The Cardinals have them, but they want to keep them.
Guys like Shelby Miller, Oscar Taveras and Kolten Wong won’t be easy to get the Cardinals to let go of.
Getting them to trade one would be an accomplishment. Expecting them to trade two or more simply would not happen.
It’s likely they would sooner trade major league talent than deplete their farm system which isn’t believed to be what the Brewers are after.
5. Would the Cardinals Still Be Able to Keep Wainwright?
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If a Greinke trade would mean him signing an extension, what does that mean for Adam Wainwright?
The Cardinals will soon be negotiating with Wainwright to lock him up for the future, and I don’t think they’ll be willing to jeopardize that.
Is the money there to sign them both? Not in the current payroll.
With some adjustments, however, it’s possible a deal could be struck to cover both Cardinals.
While I still consider this to be a long shot, the addition of Greinke would likely give the Cardinals one of the most formidable rotations in MLB.