MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Zack Greinke Is Now the Biggest Prize on the Block

Chris Hummer@chris_hummerAnalyst IJuly 25, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 22:  Starting pitcher Zack Greinke #13 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers during the second inning of an interleague baseball game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on June 22 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

Now that Cole Hamels has re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Milwaukee Brewers' Zack Greinke is the best player available at the trade deadline.

The Brewers ace is drawing interest from a myriad of teams, including the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Dodgers.

All of these squads are in search of a top-of-the-rotation starter who could give them the boost they need to have success in October.

Greinke is more than capable of providing that.

He's having an excellent season with the Brewers, putting up a 9-3 record with a 3.44 ERA, and he’d be a solid No. 2 for any team in the postseason.

However, he brings more to the table than that. Greinke is capable of dominance.

He showed this in his 2009 Cy Young season with the Kansas City Royals. That year, despite playing for a lackluster squad, he was stellar, going 16-8 with a league-leading 2.16 ERA.

He hasn't had a season of that caliber since, but he's still been an All-Star-level pitcher for much of the last three years.

Greinke stays ahead of hitters with a sensational repertoire of pitches. He features an electric low to mid 90s fastball and really keeps hitters off balance with his assortment of hard-breaking off-speed pitches.

Earlier in the year, the Brewers were looking to re-up with their ace, offering him a nine-figure deal, but it seems that Greinke has rejected the offer.

Now it’s likely the Brewers will move him at the deadline, seeking a valuable return for their star.

They should have no problem finding a suitor either. Greinke is the top available starting pitcher, and there is no shortage of teams in need of one.

The Brewers might not want to trade their 28-year-old ace, but with his impending free-agency period, it's the right thing to do.

For a small-market team like Milwaukee, the ability to build from within is paramount, and the prospects the Brewers would receive in return for Greinke would bolster their farm system considerably. 

The re-signing of Hamels is a blessing for the Brewers. Now they sit in the power position and can field numerous offers for Greinke.

People pay top dollar for talent, and a desperate team will be willing to shell out more if it thinks Greinke can help it win. 

Greinke is now the top player on the block, and lots of organizations feel that he’s the missing piece. If the Brewers play it right, this situation should prove very advantageous.