Maybe there is something to the Zack Greinke trade rumors.
Though reports of a potential deal to the Texas Rangers may be dead, one interesting thing to note is that Fan Rag Sports’ Jon Heyman says the Diamondbacks may be willing to eat some of the money owed to Greinke.
That report is in contrast to Heyman’s Fan Rag colleague Robert Murray, who said that the Diamondbacks weren’t looking to trade Greinke.
According to Heyman, four teams are interested in Greinke despite the money he is owed.
It’s surprising that the Diamondbacks would be willing to trade Greinke when they just reached the NLDS and seem to be in position to continue competing.
Zack Greinke’s name has come up in trade rumors this week, but it doesn’t sound like there’s much to them.
On Tuesday, reports were saying that the Texas Rangers were interested in Greinke. Then it was reported that other teams like the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees were also interested in Greinke.
However, it sounds like the Arizona Diamondbacks are not interested in dealing their ace.
Fan Rag Sports’ Robert Murray says the Diamondbacks have quickly shut down talks and appear unlikely to deal Greinke unless they get some serious value in return.
The trade rumors never really made sense. The Diamondbacks would only be motivated to trade Greinke if they were looking to dump salary. But considering they reached the NLDS last season and maintain a strong core, it seems much more logical for them to keep trying to win rather than dump salary for prospects. They’re certainly not going to get better next season by getting rid of Greinke, who went 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA last season.
Greinke is owed $126.5 million over the next four seasons. The Diamondbacks would probably only consider a salary dump if their play drops off in the next few years. You can’t really blame teams for inquiring about him.
Zack Greinke has been named the starter for Game 3 of the NLDS between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, as expected.
Greinke started the NL wild-card game for the Diamondbacks and was knocked out in the fourth inning. He allowed four runs and six hits over 3.2 innings in the 11-8 win over Colorado. He only made 58 pitches in the game, so he should be pretty fresh for Game 3.
Taijuan Walker got the nod for Game 1 of the series against Clayton Kershaw. Robbie Ray will go up against Rich Hill in Game 2 on Saturday. There will be a day off Sunday as the teams head to Phoenix, so Greinke will have his usual four days of rest between starts.
Pitching in Game 3 at home should work out well for Greinke and the Diamondbacks. The 33-year-old went 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA at home this season compared to 4-6 with a 3.65 ERA on the road.
Colorado Rockies pitcher Pat Neshek is an avid collector of autographs, and his status as an MLB player gives him access to a number of opportunities the common collector doesn’t have. Except, of course, when it comes to Zack Greinke.
Before the All-Star Game in July, Neshek said that Greinke was going to be his top target at the Midsummer Classic, noting that the Arizona Diamondbacks ace typically isn’t one for signing autographs.
“He’s tough,” Neshek said at the time. “Hopefully we can talk.”
Neshek’s plan was to have his 3-year-old son approach Greinke and ask him to sign, but it never ended up happening. On Tuesday, Neshek wrote on a message board that he tried to get Greinke’s autograph during a recent series between the Phillies and D-Backs but the pitcher “stiffed me once again.” Here’s Neshek’s explanation:
“I waited around for him at batting practice and went up to him and he totally denied having the conversation at the all star game,” Neshek wrote. “I then asked him why this was a problem and he said it’s because ‘I wear him out.’ Hard to wear someone out when he has never signed for me. This is the only ahole in major league baseball that has been a turd to me.”
Greinke has a known history with anxiety issues and prefers to keep a low profile, though he packs a big punch on the rare occasions he does demand the spotlight. As for why he wouldn’t sign for Neshek, only Greinke knows that. Unless there’s a side to the story Neshek isn’t sharing, that sounds pretty unreasonable.
Both the American and National League have clear contenders for their respective Cy Young Awards this season, but the outcome of each race is still murky as we head into the final weeks of the season.
There’s a lot to consider in the races for both leagues. Here’s a look at the top five contenders for the Cy Young in each league.
5) Dallas Keuchel, Astros
The neck issue that robbed Keuchel of two months’ worth of action also likely robbed him of any realistic chance to win the Cy Young award. The 2015 winner hasn’t quite been as good as he was that year, but he hasn’t been a lot worse, either, with a 1.12 WHIP and a 2.96 ERA. Prior to Justin Verlander’s late arrival from Detroit, he was the undisputed staff ace. If not for that injury — and a couple of ensuing hiccups as he worked himself back into game action — he’d be higher on this list.
4) Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox
Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke were teammates for three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but they’ll be facing each other on Friday night.
For his part, Kershaw isn’t looking forward to it.
“I don’t really look forward to it,” Kershaw said, via ESPN. “You almost just try to block it out. It’s not fun to pitch to people that you know. I’m not good at separating that. I think I’m just going to have to really focus and think about it like he’s another guy, and then, the next day I can talk to him.
“Guys that you became pretty good buddies with — it’s not easy for me. I wouldn’t say I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m definitely going to have to block it out a little bit.”
Greinke, on the other hand, is very much looking forward to facing his old pal.
“I’ve been wanting to face him, just to see how nasty he is,” Greinke said. “He does do everything as perfect as you would want your pitcher to do — great mindset, great work ethic. I learned more about that than the actual pitching part of it. He’s pretty special.”
Greinke does love to hit, and hitting against a buddy of his will definitely appeal to him. Kershaw clearly doesn’t feel the same.
Having a good or bad spring training isn’t necessarily a sign of things to come. Spring training is, after all, little more than a tune-up. Pitchers spend parts of spring tinkering with pitches and not operating like they would in a meaningful game, while hitters are trying to find their swing after a long winter away from facing live, competitive pitching.
That said, there are players with a point to prove who have not had the strong springs they probably would have liked to.
Here are five players who have shown some worrisome signs as they prepare for the season ahead.
1) Matt Harvey, New York Mets
Let’s get this out of the way: Harvey looked better in his most recent outing. He touched 97 on the radar gun and seemed to be on the right track toward getting towards midseason form. It’s impossible, however, to ignore what he was doing earlier in spring.
Harvey has spent most of March getting shelled, his fastball sitting in the 92-93 range. After his first four starts, his ERA was 7.30. Even now, his mark of 23 hits allowed in 18.1 innings pitched is really discouraging.
It wasn’t so much the numbers that were troubling as it was that velocity drop. Even in his struggle-filled 2016, he averaged 94.5 MPH on his fastball. It would be unfair to ignore the fact that Harvey is coming off shoulder surgery, which may have been a factor in his spring struggles — but that’s all the more reason to watch him closely and be a bit concerned by his progress.
2) Matt Kemp, Atlanta Braves
The Los Angeles Dodgers had preliminary discussions about bringing Zack Greinke back via trade, according to a report.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers, who had Greinke on their roster from 2013 to 2015, made a late bid to try to acquire him from Arizona before the Wednesday postseason eligibility deadline. The talks did not go far, though Greinke did clear waivers and would have been eligible to be traded.
Rosenthal notes that the Dodgers could explore a Greinke trade again in the offseason. The Diamondbacks could entertain it, as clearing Greinke’s six year, $206.5 million contract off the books could give them some extra budget space to re-sign Paul Goldschmidt to a long-term deal.
It’s worth noting that Greinke was reportedly less than enamored with some of the moves Arizona made. He may welcome the move back to Los Angeles, too, so it will be something to watch for.
Zack Greinke, who signed a six-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks last offseason that is worth more than $200 million, heard a chorus of boos from Los Angeles Dodgers fans as he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second inning Monday night. For a moment, the pitcher thought he had shut those fans up in a big way.
He was wrong.
Greinke hit a fly ball off Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger that made it all the way to the warning track. Judging by the bat flip, Greinke definitely thought it was going to travel a bit further.
Greinke is actually a pretty good hitting pitcher. He hit two home runs with the Dodgers last season and is batting .290 this year in Arizona. But he has just six homers in his 12-year career, so he might want to leave the bat flipping to guys who do stuff like this at the plate. Good effort, Zack.
The Arizona Diamondbacks made some big moves this offseason to turn themselves into contenders for 2016, but Zack Greinke apparently was concerned about the cost of one of the moves.
Signing Greinke was the biggest transaction by Arizona, as they committed $205 million to the former Dodgers pitcher. The second-biggest move was acquiring Shelby Miller in a trade with the Braves. Though Miller has been a good starter the past three seasons, his addition came at a hefty price; Arizona gave up former No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson, as well as other prospects Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair, to get him.
According to a Bill Shaikin article in the Los Angeles Times, Greinke was “frustrated and disappointed” by how much the D-backs gave up in the trade.
The Diamondbacks weakened their depth, by a little or by a lot, with the Miller trade. Greinke was said by friends to be frustrated and disappointed at how much talent the Diamondbacks lost in getting Miller. Greinke, asked whether he liked the trade, deflected the question without a yes or no.
If giving Greinke $205 million through his age 37 season wasn’t enough of a sign that Arizona’s front office was making questionable moves, then the Miller trade certainly sealed that sentiment.
The good news is the Diamondbacks should be competitive this season. The bad news is they weakened their minor league system for the future. Of course, when it comes to Greinke, we all know what his real motivation is.