Although the David DeJesus emails have definitely started to slow down, there is still a reasonable amount of Zack Greinke-related questions coming in, all of which are some variation on the theme: “Can the Yankees get him? And for how much?”
Look, I know there aren’t a lot of options out there after Cliff Lee. And, truth be told, I think the Yankees are going to succeed in signing Lee which will render the “Plan B” issue moot. But if, for whatever reason, the Yankees don’t end up with Lee than I wouldn’t hold your breath on the Yankees pulling off a trade for Greinke.
Why not? Two main reasons.
1. The Royals don’t seem particularly likely to deal him. At least not yet. More likely, a deal will come a little ways down the line. In an interview with MLB Radio on Friday, Royals GM Dayton Moore said that if the club can’t sign Greinke to a multi-year deal “then we are going to have to make a decision to move him at some point in time. Is that this winter? I don’t know. Is it prior to the deadline in 2011? Possibly. Is it off-season 2011? But we will have to make that determination no different than other clubs have had to make. Minnesota had to make a similar decision with [Johan] Santana and, of course, Cleveland had to make a decision similar with [Cliff] Lee and [C.C.] Sabathia. So we will have to maximize his value certainly at some point in time.”
Moore has also said he has nothing in the works, has not called any other clubs about Greinke and he doesn’t anticipate anything happening soon unless another team “just blows us away.”
2. It seems very, very unlikely that he’d want to come to New York. And if you don’t really want to be here, it’s infinitely harder to do well here. Greinke has a limited no-trade clause in his current contract and there have been reports already that he has told friends he won’t waive it to go to a New York team. As someone who deals with social anxiety issues, a big-city fishbowl seems like a poor fit; more likely, I could see Greinke ending up somewhere like Texas, a team which has said it wants to pursue him regardless of what happens with Cliff Lee.
Put both factors together and you end up with the Yankees having to pay a steep price in prospects and money to land and then sign a pitcher who may or may not really want to play in the big city. I know Greinke is good – really, really good – but this is one of those situations where it just seems like the Yankees would be better off staying away.
* Thanks to the AP for the photo of Greinke.