Earlier this week, John gave us a very nice summary of a media session in which Dave Dombrowski gave some insight into his off-season agenda. The Tigers will seek to add a starting pitcher but won’t do it by joining in the bidding war for the top-tier free agents. For now, Phil Coke and Armando Galarraga are penciled in behind Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and Rick Porcello. Let’s get out that eraser.
What if I told you there was an established starter out there that hasn’t reached his 27th birthday and is signed for the next two years for just $1 more than the Tigers paid Jeremy Bonderman? Oh yeah, he also already won a Cy Young award. Who is he? Zack Greinke.
Greinke’s comments make it obvious he doesn’t see himself in Kansas City long term (who does?) and the team doesn’t believe they can be competitive before Greinke’s current deal runs out. That might be kind of scenario that would allow the Royals to deal their ace to a team within their division.
If you read MCB around the trade deadline you might remember that I’m not one for throwing around trade offers. That is the stuff for call-in radio shows and it is a futile exercise. In this case, I would be willing to say that I wouldn’t mind if the Tigers gave up Jacob Turner and a couple other prospects to make it happen.
Even if a Greinke experiment only lasted the two years on his current deal the compensation he would fetch as a Type A free agent would replenish the stock of youngsters it took to acquire him in the first place. At the very least it would give the Tigers flexibility as they set their rotation three to five years down the road. There is a lot more room for error in the development of Scherzer, Porcello, Andy Oliver, and Casey Crosby with Greinke in the fold.
The idea sounds far-fetched, even to me as I write it, but Dave Dombrowski and Mike Ilitch have a history of making a big splash with an off-season trade. If they are going to do it again, they might as well do it with Greinke.