With the Winter Meetings set to run December 6th to 9th in Orlando, Florida, talk is spreading like wildfire among baseball people that the Jays are pushing hard to try and acquire former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Kansas City Royals.
The Jays may be one or two players away from making a run for an AL East pennant this year, and executives believe the Boston Red Sox, with the loss of Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre, and the Tampa Bay Rays, with the potential losses of Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford, may be in line for a decline in wins this season.
The Yankees, if they do not acquire Cliff Lee, may also be on the decline, as many of their aging superstars are starting to show their age. Derek Jeter's numbers are down, Jorge Posada may eventually get passed by blue-chip prospect Jesus Montero and Yankees pitching staff, which includes the 38-year-old Andy Pettitte, is certainly not getting any better unless Lee is added.
The Jays, though, are really making some noise right now in Florida, and news and rumors are expected to pick up as the meetings actually begin tomorrow.
The Royals are said to be very high on Jays prospects Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider as possible returns for Greinke. Greinke, who recently turned 27, would solidify the Jays rotation, which includes Shaun Marcum, Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and the club leader in wins, Brett Cecil.
Greinke has a partial no-trade clause, so he will have to give his seal of approval on deals to a list of 15 teams, but it appears he's very open to getting out of Kansas City as fast as possible. Toronto is apparently on his list of no-trade teams, but so was Toronto on Troy Glaus' list and he ended up getting dealt to Toronto, so who knows what happens.
Last season in 220 innings, Greinke went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA, 181 strikeouts and 55 walks, to go along with three complete games—not even close to the numbers he put up the season previous, when he was the best pitcher in the American League.
This would be a risky trade, nonetheless, if the Jays do in fact pull the trigger. But adding Greinke, if he returns to his 2009 form, would make Toronto's rotation nearly unmatched to any in the American League, apart from Tampa Bay.
Earlier last month, I reported that the Jays were also looking to acquire Alex Gordon in the deal with Greinke. Gordon, who can play third base and outfield, would easily help fill the void left by Edwin Encarnacion last season—if you could even call that a void.
That rumor could resurface in the next few days, as well, so don't sleep on that.
Feel free to add your thoughts on the Jays' continued interest in Zack Greinke. Is it worth trading your two best prospects for him? Does he really improve the Jays that much? Should the Jays look elsewhere?