Entering Tuesday’s MLB trade deadline, the Arizona Diamondbacks are looking to be sellers and maybe looking to sell their most expensive chip, pitcher Zack Greinke.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the DBacks are confident in their farm system and they’re willing to part with some of their big names, including the 35-year-old Greinke, who’s been one of their best players since arriving in 2016. He’s 55-29 in 113 starts in his three-plus years in Arizona, tossing just under 710 innings while recording a 3.40 ERA with 676 strikeouts.
Greinke is currently on pace to extend his streak of 10-or-more wins per season to 12 straight years this year as he’s 10-4 with a 2.87 ERA, the first time since 2015 he’s had an ERA below 3.00.
Greinke brings quality pitching no matter where he will go, but also a hefty price tag, which would limit who would be willing to fork over the assets required to land him. He has three years left on his massive $206 million contract and is set to make $32 million in each of the next two years.
There’s also his known playoff struggles. When the October lights turn on, Greinke’s game seems to go away. He’s never pitched in the Fall Classic and is 3-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 11 postseason starts, a concerning contrast from how well he pitches during the regular season.
So where could he go? Arizona will be looking for good prospects in return, but will probably have to rein in their expectations given the numbers on his contract. Here are three possibilities on the trade deadline’s most expensive trade chip.
For financial reasons, and given their recent history of spending money to make a big splash, this seems really likely. The Phillies have enough room before hitting the luxury tax threshold and the Phillies are in need of another top-flight starter.
Philadelphia has already looked into the potential of a trade for Greinke as well, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury. They could send a package of prospects JoJo Romero and/or Kevin Gowdy and Enyel De Lo Santos to Arizona, sending two of their top-10 prospects for the star pitcher. It would be quite the price to pay, but if the Phillies are serious about going all-in, it’s not a hard choice.
New York Yankees
Similar to the Phillies mentioned above, the Yankees have seemingly unlimited resources and can spend it whenever they feel the need to, and also need a quality starter. With the potential trade talks of Madison Bumgarner to the Bronx reportedly cooling off, the Yankees could decide to pull the trigger on Grienke if they are okay with the high price tag. There’s no question that the Yankees have trade pieces that Arizona would want; however, New York has to decide if taking a gamble on Greinke solving his playoff struggles is worth the cost.
As far as a trade package is concerned, take your pick from the bevy of prospects that proved themselves earlier in the season when everyone was injured. Clint Frazier is the biggest name that comes to mind, but the Yankees could also figure a way to trade Miguel Andujar, who will face heavy competition with the Yankees infield once he returns from injury, and even outfielder Cameron Maybin as a nice rotational piece.
The Braves already made a splash earlier this season when they signed Dallas Keuchel, but they still need another top-flight starter for a rotation that owns the lowest strikeout-to-walk ratio in baseball. Despite the price tag, there’s no question that a 1-2 combo of Keuchel and Grienke would elevate the NL East-leading Braves and their rotation by miles heading into the stretch run and postseason.
The Braves could create a trade package that includes pitching prospects Max Fried and/or Kyle Wright, along with either Tyler Flowers, Julio Teheran or Nick Markakis, all of whom have player options that the Braves may not exercise during the winter.