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Perhaps the most intriguing story line on the hot stove is the speculation surrounding the 2009 Cy Young Award winner.
Greinke is the best pitcher available on the trade market, and possibly on the free agent market as well (with all due respect to Cliff Lee). The demand for a certifiable ace is through the roof, with teams like the Rangers, Brewers, Blue Jays and Red Sox showing considerable interest. But will the Royals move him?
Greinke has two years and $27 million remaining on his contract, a bargain price for a No. 1 pitcher. He's also still only 26 years old and may not yet have fully tapped his potential. An extension with the Royals is unlikely given the disarray of the Kansas City organization, so GM Dayton Moore may have no choice but to trade his best player.
However, Moore is asking for a king's ransom in return, as he should. Greinke, despite a down year this past season, still owns a career 3.82 ERA and has pitched at least 200 innings in three consecutive seasons. On a better team he'd be a lock to win 17-20 games and be a perennial Cy Young contender.
The Royals will likely decide that they will never be able to get a better deal for Greinke than the ones being floated around right now. Plus, they don't want to risk Greinke suffering an injury or, worse, a mental breakdown that would destroy his trade value. Greinke does have a no-trade clause though and can block trades to certain cities, so it will be interesting to see how this one plays out.