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Thursday December 9, 2010 4:33 am

Zack Greinke sitting tight while Cliff Lee is on market




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB, Rumors, Trades,

Zack GreinkeZack Greinke’s new uniform has been one of the biggest non-stories of the Winter Meetings. The Royals aren’t interested in playing their ace until Cliff Lee chooses a new home. There’s a lot of benefit in waiting for Lee to make up his mind, as most teams are interested in Lee before Greinke anyway. Once Lee’s off the market, Greinke becomes America’s most wanted and the Royals can barter for as much as they want. They’ll find a buyer willing to overpay somewhere.

Rumors surfaced earlier this week that a Greinke deal was all but complete with the Blue Jays after the latter traded their 2010 Opening Day pitcher to Milwaukee, but that proved to either be false or the deal fell through, as Greinke still represents Kansas City. That doesn’t mean a deal with Toronto will not happen, but the rumors of what the Royals wanted in return – two major league-ready players and two high prospects – was too high for the Jays at the time.

That high price tag is justifiable. Greinke is under control for the next two seasons and he won a Cy Young Award pitching for one of the worst teams in baseball. Two seasons is not exactly a long time to have Greinke under contract, but part of negotiations may include a verbal agreement with Greinke to extend his contract with the team he joins. Look at what half a season of Lee did for both the Phillies and the Rangers.

The Royals won’t trade Greinke until Lee goes, but the longer the Royals wait to deal him afterwards will only hurt them. Other teams will want Greinke’s services as long as they can have him, and his trade value may be decreased by the trade deadline if he or the Royals don’t perform well. There’s also the risk of an early-season injury. Expect Greinke to be asking for an apartment in a new city for Christmas, or at the very latest, January.

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