The Boston Red Sox have talent and money so they often are mentioned in trade scenarios. Zack Greinke will be one to avoid and there will be more.
There are certain events that one can expect with a guaranteed regularity such as holidays, cosmic events, and annoying phone calls from questionable sources to irritate you at the most inopportune of times. Baseball also has their own events, and a yearly one is the Zack Greinke rumors that have once again surfaced.
Greinke now is employed by the Arizona Diamondbacks and his compensation is similar to the gross national product of several small countries and a few larger ones. Greinke has been quite efficient at maximizing his earning power and now the D-Backs are holding the fiscal bag.
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The Diamondbacks have a new general manager in Mike Hazen – a very familiar name to Red Sox fans – and a light bulb recently went on over Hazen’s head that Greinke’s contract is a bit exorbitant for what he may wish to accomplish as general manager – such as surviving a few more seasons.
The reason I mention Greinke is twofold with the first being Hazen and the Red Sox connection and the second is the Red Sox. Invariably, when Greinke is mentioned as being “shopped” the lovely Fenway Park is often attached as a potential destination. No way! No how! Let any potential Boston trades for Greinke quickly expire.
The good news is any deal would require a cash payment from Arizona. The bad news is what will remain of the contract. Last season was a downer for Greinke as he opted out with the Dodgers and gratefully accepted a six-year deal that averages close to $35 Million a year or $206.5 Million for the life of that contract. Injuries and some tepid performances produced a 13-7 mark and a ballooned ERA to 4.37.
When Greinke is 100 percent, he is simply one of the best. In 2015, the numbers were staggering for the former Cy Young Award winner with a 19-3 record and league leading 1.66 earned run average. Scrolling through his figures for 2015 it is impressive as in Pedro Martinez in his heyday performances.
Historically, Greinke is the resilient type who has managed to recover from some less than Greinke like seasons to some that are statistically remarkable. The selling point quite naturally will be that 2017 will again see a top three type pitcher return. I don’t dismiss that, but at what the Red Sox would have to assume via contract obligations and shelling out talent I would run and hide from any Hazen phone calls.
The Red Sox are touching into luxury tax territory and even taking aboard half of Greinke’s salary would certainly put the team into a ponderous salary status and if Greinke’s skills have eroded then you can just think Barry Zito.
Dave Dombrowski is an astute baseball executive and I doubt that he would make any move towards Greinke as serious other than a polite exchange with a former employee. Hazen and the D-Backs are not in a very comfortable position with a contract that limits team operations and may be more difficult to move than a relative who considers your home as his own.
There will be other rumors surfacing as the off-season gets its bloom on and those usually circulate around other teams mistakes and how they can weasel out of the confines of onerous contracts and sub par performances. Greinke has a skull and crossbones warning label for this fan. And there will be more in the following months. Buyer beware.