Zack Greinke's win of the 2009 Cy Young Award should be considered one of the best accomplishments in recent baseball history.
The Kansas City Royals weren't a bad team in 2009, they were awful. Greinke's dominance on a 97-loss team speaks to his greatness.
The Royals are in the very competitive but winnable AL Central. Any great team needs an "ace" of the pitching staff to always depend on, but the Royals have almost an entire roster full of holes to fill in order to compete with Minnesota, Detroit, and Chicago.
Kansas City is one of the smallest markets in baseball and must be creative with their money and players in order to compete. Would trading Zack Greinke be the smartest move for the long-term success of the organization?
At first thought, most fans would immediately say absolutely not. It would be a very difficult sell for the organization trading their most marketable star and hope fans would still come out to watch an awful team.
Trading Greinke could be a lethal blow to a franchise that hasn't been contenders since over 20 years.
While statistics will show that a dominant pitcher, like Greinke, is as valuable as any every day player, fans can only see him once every five days.
A position player that plays every day will draw fans to a game every day, but Greinke's drawing power only comes once a week. The front office will greatly favor someone that will bring fans to the ballpark on a daily basis.
The Phillies picked up Lee's option for 2010, so they'll have him for a total of a year and a half.
Any team that trades for Greinke would have his services for three years. He's due to make just over $7 million in 2010 and $13 million in 2011 and 2012.
That is an absolute bargain for a Cy Young winner that will only be 26 when next season begins.
He could bring a better haul than Cliff Lee, Johan Santana, or even what Roy Halladay might. That type of talent returning to Kansas City coupled with what little talent they already could make them a respectable team and a viable competitor in their division.
A team like the Boston Red Sox would match up well as a potential trading partner. They possess enough pitching and hitting prospects that could turn around the Kansas City franchise.
The Red Sox have multiple pitchers that would immediately slide into the Royals' rotation and bullpen. They also have young hitters and fielders that could become cornerstones of the offense.
Fans need to understand that although having Greinke on their team is special, but how important is he to the success of team if his very best is only able to get the Royals to 65 wins?
The Royals have available funds to spend on the team in free agency. They could choose to keep Greinke and take their chances on adding pieces that way.
Adding key free agents and making shrewd trades could also build up the team, but can they do it before Greinke hits free agency after 2012?
Dealing Greinke could turn out to be a public relations nightmare for the Royals, but it may be the only move the team could make to become a relevant franchise again.
Trading Cy Young winners has become a growing trend recently, but the Royals have nothing left if Greinke is traded.
The Royals will have a hard time winning with him on the roster, but losing him will make it almost impossible and guarantee few fans will be around to watch what is left.
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