Astros: What if the D-Backs test the market for Zack Greinke?
By Eric Huysman
Astros fans, how bad do you want an ace?
Go back in time to the 2015-16 offseason. Which team was making all the right moves? That would be the Arizona Diamondbacks, who shocked the world by throwing $206.5 million dollars at Zack Greinke. They also traded Dansby Swanson to the Braves for Shelby Miller and made other moves. Could the Houston Astros take advantage of the fact that the Diamondbacks finished with 93 losses last year?
On last night’s Talking Stros, my co-host Brandon threw out Greinke’s name before the show. He mentioned that the Diamondbacks could be putting feelers out there to see what they could get for him. This made me pause and think no way, but the more I thought about it, it was not a terrible idea. You can listen to all the players discussed below.
The Arizona GM, Mike Hazen has said the right things, “we’re fully anticipating that Zack is going to be back next year. Not too many teams have No. 1 starting pitchers, and we do.” This quote was from Steve Gilbert’s article, where he mentions that they are listening to what other teams have to say now.
In other words, they will listen but not engage in any conversations about Greinke unless they are intrigued. Hazen is not stupid, he knows that it will send a bad message if the team signs him to a six-year deal, then trades him the following year. They made a bold move stealing Greinke from their division rival Dodgers. However, injuries and down seasons by Miller and Greinke did not help. Do they have enough talent to win?
There is not much doubt that the Astros have the talent to win, but some would say that we lack number one pitcher. Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers would be the two players to fit the bill. However, with Keuchel’s struggles and McCullers’ health issues, we are not sure what to expect. With Greinke, you know what you are going to get for the most part.
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After a rough start to the 2016 season, Greinke settled down to the pitcher he should be. His final numbers may not be ace-like, but they are respectable on a bad team. Put Greinke on this team, and he becomes the instant ace of the staff. The 33-year-old finished 13-7 with a 4.37 ERA and 134 in 158 2/3 innings pitched. It was a far cry from his 19-3 with 1.66 ERA in 2015, but he could still bounce back.
Greinke has accomplished 200 or more strikeouts five times in his 13-year-career. He is an ace in every sense of the word, so he is getting paid like an ace. He will receive between $34 and $35 million each year until 2021. Take a second and let that sink in. That is crazy, but the Diamondbacks had to overpay to steal him from the Dodgers.
As much as I would like to see Greinke in an Astros uniform, I do not see Jeff Luhnow trading for him. Trading a contract like that is hard. If you offer better prospects to the Diamondbacks, they could then pay some of the remaining salary down. If the Stros take on the majority of the salary, then they might not have to give up as many prospects.
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Greinke could hamper what the Diamondbacks could do over the years, or he could lead them to the World Series. Add him to the Stros, it makes them more of a favorite for 2017 and beyond. Is it worth the price it would cost? That is up to Mr. Luhnow. Interesting topic, but I do not see it happening, Brandon. Wouldn’t hurt to inquire, however. Brandon has been right in the past.
If the Diamondbacks put Greinke up for a trade, would you do what it takes to get him on the team?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***