Atlanta Braves: Why Trading for Zack Greinke Makes SenseBy Herb Hatlee(Contributor) on June 29, 2012 2,425 reads 16
Brian Kersey/Getty Images The July 31 trade deadline is fast approaching.
While the Atlanta Braves sit only a few games behind the first place Washington Nationals, the Milwaukee Brewers are barely holding onto fourth place in the NL Central—seven games under .500. The general feeling around baseball is that the Milwaukee Brewers will be sellers before the end of the deadline. Their biggest and most prized trade chip is Zack Greinke.
Greinke is due to hit free agency at the end of this year because the Brewers do not have the capital to re-sign the ace pitcher and address other holes. The Brewers would be looking to receive a trade similar to last year's Mets/Giants trade, which involved Carlos Beltran. The Mets were able to net a top pitching prospect in Zach Wheeler, and the Giants were able to give a significant boost to their offense during their playoff run.
Unlike the Giants and Beltran, the Braves will only trade for Greinke if they are able to sign him to a long-term extension. The Braves do not want a rental player. They are looking to lock down one of the game's elite pitchers. With Chipper Jones retiring and Derek Lowe's contract ending, the Braves have $29 million coming off the books in 2013. The Braves have said they are willing to spend some of the money allocated for next year's payroll this season if an opportunity for a trade arises. One of the Braves' greatest strengths as an organization is their farm system. One of the Brewers' biggest needs is young talent. They gave up a sizable portion of their farm system when they acquired Greinke, but with the their star pitcher nearing the end of his run in Milwaukee, they have an opportunity to replace some of the pieces they lost. The Brewers desperately need of a good shortstop. With the recent promotion and success of Andrelton Simmons, the Braves now have an extra MLB ready SS prospect in their farm system in Tyler Pastornicky. At just 22 years of age, Pastornicky's road back to the majors as a member of the Braves appears to be in doubt—thanks to the sensational play of Simmons. However, the Brewers need a legitimate SS, so the two organizations line up nicely.
The Braves will probably have to come off one of their young arms in addition to Tyler Pastornicky to land Greinke. Brandon Beachy and Tommy Hanson will probably be out of the question, as well as super prospect Julio Teheran. However Mike Minor, Randall Delgado or Sean Gilmartin may be moved to help facilitate this deal. The strong starting pitching trio of Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmerman for the Washington Nationals almost demands the Braves make a move to solidify their rotation. With Brandon Beachy's injury, the Braves find themselves needing for another true ace. While the savvy veteran leadership of Tim Hudson has been a strong boost to the top of the rotation, the inconsistency and growing pains of Mike Minor and Randall Delgado are too volatile for the organization to put together consistent winning streaks. Both youngsters have displayed flashes of brilliance in their starts, but the Braves cannot hope to compete for the entire season without an upgrade at the top of their rotation. Zack Greinke is that upgrade.
Greinke is a top flight pitcher who is only 28 years old. The only starter in 2011 with a better K/9 ratio than Greinke's 10.54 K/9 was Brandon Beachy with 10.74 K/9. In his last 11 starts, Greinke has given up a total of 18 ER, while only walking 13 batters and striking out 72. The Atlanta Braves trading for and signing the mild-mannered ace makes sense for both parties involved. According to MLBtraderumors.com, the Braves are very interested in Greinke, and it seems that the two teams are positioned to satisfy each other's organizational needs.
Yeah, I don't think the suggested players from the Braves side would be enough to get half a year of Greinke, much less assurance of an extension.
Other post-season contenders needing a top starter include, well, just about everyone.
Is that article another Bleacher Report article? The fact that the guy mentions that Brandon Beachy is "probably" out of the question makes ME question his knowledge. How many teams would trade for a guy who is out for a year with TJ surgery even IF that particular player could be traded?
Also, I agree with the others in that we could only hope that the Brewers (or any team) views Pastornicky as a "legitimate" shortstop.
Finally, if the Braves land Greinke they can say goodbye to Teheran.
Wren needs to make this happen with an extension. Greinke is that #1 ace the staff needs. The question, what will the Brewers want in return? They will definately be looking at pitching, and looking at current needs, they may seek 1b, SS, or 3b help as well. They have a kid at AA in Hunter Morris who is a 1b, that looks like he may get a shot as early as next year.
Braves have plenty of pitching prospects to look at as we all know. Teheran, Delgado, Minor, Spruill, Gilmartin, and a few others. As far as SS prospects, the Braves could see if the Brewers would bite on Pastornicky as a full-time SS, or could offer Nick Ahmed who has looked pretty good so far. At 3b, the Braves have Terdoslavich, Salcedo, and Kubitza to offer.