At the end of a slow day in baseball, I’ll turn the floor over to Joe Posnanski.
After Derek Jeter and Cliff Lee took their turns in the offseason spotlight — a place where speculation and wild guesswork are disguised as viable forms of analysis — it’s now Zack Greinke’s turn. And no one has covered Greinke as well as Posnanski, who wrote about him again this week:
I don’t know how Zack Greinke would do in New York or Chicago or any other big market. How could I know? But when I see people question his toughness or his psyche — either in direct words on Twitter or, infinitely more annoying, in read-between-the-lines quotes and stories — I guess they don’t know him any better than I do.
Feel free to debate the merits of the Yankees trading for Greinke — would he be worth the prospects, would he thrive in this market? — but that debate must always end with the realization that no one knows for certain.
Posnanski makes the argument that Kansas City might actually be the worst place for him, that pitching in games that matter would actually bring out the best in Greinke, and that a team of superstars would let him blend in rather than standout. Posnanski also acknowledges that, despite all the time he’s spent with Greinke, he can only guess what a move to New York might mean.
I also think it’s possible that the New York Yankees — with all of their money, their background checks, their good scouting and everything else — don’t know Greinke any better than anyone else.
And now a few more links and notes from a quiet Saturday.
• The Red Sox continue to build, signing reliever Dan Wheeler to help in their bullpen. Wheeler, Bobby Jenks and Daniel Bard give Boston some right-handed depth leading into the ninth inning.
• Boston is still reportedly interested in signing an additional left-handed reliever.
• Marcus Thames was being chased by Japanese team earlier this offseason. Now it seems he has some big league clubs interested in using him in left field. The Dodgers have been linked to him, and so have the Orioles. He could still fit for the Yankees as a right-handed corner outfielder, but the team would have to hope that his bat is good enough to make up for his glove.
• Hideki Matsui’s deal in Oakland has a partial no-trade clause that prevents trades to some of the worst teams in the American League. Of course, it’s hard to imagine any of those teams — except maybe the Twins — actually wanting to trade for him midseason.
• From the random, non-baseball events of my life category: This afternoon I put on an old live album called General Admission by the Pat McGee Band, one of my absolute favorites back in college. There’s no point to this paragraph, I’ve just been listening to that CD all day and felt like sharing an underrated band and an underrated album. PMB hit its peak with a studio album called Shine that seemed to come out about seven years too late, after the initial buzz of vaguely similar groups — Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows, Blues Traveler — had died and given way to lesser forms of pop music.