Leading up to the trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon, the already-rampant Zack Greinke trade rumors will continue to circulate. As of Friday afternoon, there were at least six teams considered to be genuinely interested in the Milwaukee Brewers’ right-hander, and there will obviously be many, many more.
In return for their coveted ace, the Brewers are looking for an assemblage of projectable prospects to replenish their depleted farm system. And of the teams that are allegedly interested—Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals—nearly all of them have the depth within their system to complete a blockbuster trade.
Here is a ranked look at each prospect package that the aforementioned teams should offer the Brewers if they hope to acquire Zack Greinke.
Package: RHP Nestor Molina (Triple-A), OF Keenyn Walker (High-A), IF Carlos Sanchez (Double-A)
White Sox GM Kenny Williams will have to be creative this year if they want to land Greinke. One would think that Gavin Floyd and possibly Jose Quintana will headline the deal, and beyond that, Williams will assuredly overspend.
There’s also a strong chance that he involves a third team as a means of offering the Brewers a favorable crop of prospects.
If the White Sox ultimately trade from within, in a deal that doesn’t involve Floyd or Quintana, it would honestly have a minimal effect on the state of their farm system. Seriously, it’s that bad.
Package: RHP Alex Meyer (High-A), OF Destin Hood (Double-A), SS Zach Walters (Double-A)
Beyond Alex Meyer, the Nationals have a farm system comprised of talented prospects with questionable futures in the major leagues. However, Meyer’s stock is on the rise thanks to a dominant 2012 season, and if either Hood or Walters develops as hoped, they could be in the major leagues by late 2013
Package: RHP Zach Lee (Double-A)
So the Dodgers wouldn’t trade RHP Allen Webster for Ryan Dempster.
But given Greinke’s value, the Brewers are likely inquiring about the team’s top prospect, Zach Lee.
There was a rumor that Lee may be made available to land Matt Garza from the Cubs, so it’s conceivable that the 20-year-old right-hander will be in a play for this deal. This trade has the potential to be a one-for-one, and an especially risky one given Lee’s small sample size of performance.
Package: RHP Julio Teheran (Triple-A)
The Braves don’t have a bounty of prospects to pick from, so expect either Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado to be traded. The team was reportedly ready to deal Delgado for Dempster last week, so one has to conclude that they’d offer Teheran for Greinke.
A deal with the Braves has the potential to be of the one-for-one, trading a No. 1 prospect for the rental of an elite major leaguer, which is always an enormous gamble.
Package: SS/2B Jean Segura (MLB), RHP John Hellweg (Double-A), RHP Ariel Pena (Double-A)
Although the trade may be led by Peter Bourjos, the Angels have the type of prospects the Brewers need.
In Hellweg, they get a Double-A starter with high strikeout-per-nine rates and figures to at least be a No. 3 or 4 starter in the major leagues.
Since originally trading Alcides Escobar for Greinke to the Royals, they have struggled to develop a promising shortstop prospect. That’s where Segura comes into play, as he was recently promoted to the major leagues, with Erik Aybar ailing, and appears ready to contribute.
Package: 3B Mike Olt (Double-A), LHP Martin Perez (MLB)
Since it’s highly unlikely that they will move SS Jurickson Profar, the Rangers will have to make a pretty flattering offer to the Brewers. For a system lacking a legitimate corner infield prospect, they will need a package centered on Mike Olt that likely includes left-handed pitching prospect Martin Perez.
The Rangers' farm system is deep and loaded with a variety of prospects with considerable upside. Therefore, the Brewers will try to mine what they can to cash in on Greinke’s value.