A couple of weeks ago, all the buzz consisted of talks around a Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt package deal. Since then, Goldschmidt has been dealt to the St. Louis Cardinal, but Greinke is still available. To the dismay of many teams, Greinke has a no-trade clause with 15 teams on that list. Fortunately for Houston, the Astros aren’t one of those.
Greinke would come at a much higher cost than the previously mentioned pitchers. He is in the middle of a six-year contract that will garner him $31.5 million in 2019 and $32 million in each of the final two years. Maybe if the right deal was made, the Astros could get the Diamondbacks to eat some of that to ease the burden. That’s most likely not going to happen, but given what Jim Crane indicated, if the right situation came along, the Astros could up their team salary.
Greinke is one of the elite pitchers in baseball and has earned every right to that higher end contract. He is a five-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner. He has won fifteen or more games in all but one year of his last six seasons. Greinke has a career ERA of 3.39 and an ERA+ of 124, well above average. Even though he’s 35 years old, he has still been able to eclipse 200 innings pitched each of the last two seasons.
The Astros have been well-known for their use of analytics in their game strategy and Greinke would fit in well with this approach. Greinke has been acknowledged for years for his ability to adjust his pitching based on defensive statistics.
Anyone of these pitchers would be a big asset to Houston’s starting rotation, no matter which one they choose, if they choose one at all. But one thing is for sure, time is running out. As I’m writing this article, another pitcher has been snatched up by an opposing team.