If the Yankees are going to upgrade their rotation this offseason they aren’t going to be doing it with Zack Greinke who was traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Milwaukee Brewers in a six player deal, according to Jim Breen of Bernie’s Blog.
The deal sends Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt and $2 million to the Brewers in exchange for outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, and right handed pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.
So the deal was ultimately Greinke for a middle infielder prospect, an center field prospect, and a pair of pitchers. The Yankees supposedly weren’t interested in acquiring Greinke, but this makes me feel like they easily could have gotten him if they were aggressive enough.
First of all Greinke supposedly told the Royals the other day that he wouldn’t have minded coming to the Yankees. The Yankees also had enough prospects to make a deal. A comparable package could have been Jesus Montero as the centerpiece, Brett Gardner, and two of the Killer B’s (Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, and Manuel Banuelos). Perhaps you could even substitute one of the Killer B’s for a lesser pitching prospect (Hector Noesi?) or a middle infield prospect (Eduardo Nunez or Corban Joseph?).
But for whatever reason the Yankees weren’t aggressive in pursuit of Greinke. Perhaps they just thought he didn’t have the mental capacity to pitch in Yankee Stadium. After all the fans in the Bronx can be quite harsh on even their own struggling players.
Or perhaps they didn’t like the package they would have had to send to the Royals. Not only would it have cost them their best prospect, but probably their center fielder, and two of their best pitching prospects as well.
It was likely a combination of the two with Brian Cashman not wanting to risk dealing so many top prospects without knowing that Greinke was going to pitch effectively in the Bronx. Whatever the reasoning, the Yankees aren’t likely going to be able to add another pitcher of his caliber to their team this offseason.