Let me start this post by saying that trading for Zack Greinke is probably low in probability but feel we should at least explore the possibility and clear up some things about how good Greinke is. The thing is while I do point out that it is not likely when a legitimate 27 year old ace with 2 years left on his contract at 13.5 each season becomes available you really need to explore the situation. Let's start by breaking Greinke down.
Zack Greinke the 2009 A.L. Cy Young award winner is as talented of a pitcher as there is on the league. Greinke features an excellent 4 pitch arsenal starting with a plus FB that averages 93.5 mph over the last 3 years. He does a good job with the pitch changing speeds and eye level. His slider is plus-plus and widely regarded as the best SL in the game averaging 85 mph. He also throws a hard and slow CB (74.3). 2009 in watching him pitch I saw him in 1 AB throw a hard 82 mph CB then come right back with a 64 mph version of the pitch. His CU is solid also (82.7) giving him good seperation from his FB.
Before brekaing down the numbers I want to point out while he did leave the team for a time for depression he has by all accounts gotten this under control. Many Americans suffer from this and still live productive lives. As far as the Chicago media market goes I don't forsee it being a problem considering that we just want a winner. Greinke has always put his terrible Royals teams in a position to win.
For numbers sake I'm just gong to use the last 3 years for a number of reasons. 1st this is an excellent article to read before I get into his numbers.
2008 - 13-10 3.47 202 IP 183/56 K/BB 3.56 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) 4.9 WAR $22.3 value
2009 - 16-8 2.16 229.1 242/52 2.33 9.4 WAR $42.5
* Lost 3 games 1-0 in which he went 8 IP and numerous other times he left w/ the lead and the bullpen blew it.
2010 - 10-14 4.17 220.1 181/55 3.34 5.2 $21
The 2010 season w-l and era do look bad but if really look deeeper into the numbers you'll see that both FIP (3.34) and the article above show that he is much better then his 4.17 era and obviously the Royals don't score many runs for him leading to the weak w-l record. Now why do we need Greinke? Well look at the playoff teams rotations. Dempster/Z are at best #3 and more like 4/5 on teams like the Yankees, Rays, Giants, and Phillies. To win in the playoffs you must have a legitimate ace and you can overcome better teams if you also have a 2nd ace caliber pitcher.
This is where things get sticky. The Red Sox and Yankees are in a much better position to offer what it would take to get Grienke because of the blue chip players in the system. We don't have that elite minor leaguer so it probably takes 2 of our top guys and 1-2 intriguing lesser guys with upside. The Royals have a ton of LH pithcing prospects but lack a good RHP. While they have 2010 draft pick Christian Colon currently at SS I think ( as well as most scouts) he profiles better as a 2B. They alost could use OF help. While I've advocated not trading our minor league depth I do think this is an exceptional case imo.
Talks probably start with BJax and this is the 1 players in our system that I'd like to hang onto. He offers a safe chance to become a good regular and we could really use his bat which is close. If it absolutley had to include BJax I'd probably say walk. The package would probably start with 1 of our RHP in Archer, Cashner, and McNutt. I would not go with McNutt either because I feel his FB/SL grades out at elast a tick better then Archers and his command is far better. Start with Archer or Cashner then probably Lee is the most likely with a 3rd player being something like Dolis/Colvin/Guyer/Lake/J.Jackson. I don't think that's to unreasonable.
Ideally in a perfect world this would be our play dealing Archer/Lee/ and probably Colvin. Berkman looks like he's gonna sign w/ Colorado (great fit for both imo) either get Laroche or Overbay as a fallback for 1 year. Earmark 7-9 million for the 2010 drat. Go with a safe college player with our 1st if you want (preferably a bat) then spend some money on some tough signs ala Brody Colvin, Jonathan Singleton, Garin Ceccini types to refill our organizational depth and adding some high end talent. I would deal Aramis Ramirez at the deadline to gradb a couple decent close prospects. Then when t=next years much deeper FA class comes available spend some money on someone like, Cano, Fielder, AGon, Cain, and maybe look at someone like Broxton or Grady.
While I do understand that some may sign especially Cano these guys are much younger and more impact players then what's available for us now. We can justify spending money in next offseason because we lose Arams contract then Dempster/Z after the '11 season.
Now I udnerstand this is probably not gonna play out this way because honestly it makes far to much sense. So please don't get on and tell me how unlikely this is because I know but I feel I've laid out an excellent plan in becoming a legitimate W.S. contender in 2011. Please feel free to discuss or lay out some of your plans.