According to Ken Rosenthal, Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke has said that he would like to be traded to the Cardinals, if he is dealt, and that he would be willing to sign a long-term contract in St. Louis.
He's a great talent. And if the Cardinals added him, it would certainly greatly improve the top of their rotation. But I have a few reservations about such an addition.
First, the Brewers have been the Redbirds' hottest rivals for the last five years or so. And, frankly, they're on the downswing. They lost Prince Fielder because they couldn't afford to re-sign him and they're about to lose Greinke because they can't afford to extend him, either. Meanwhile, Milwaukee has sold out its farm to try to add through trades and compete while it's window of opportunity was open. So, why would the Cardinals want to send the Brewers an infusion of young talent to help them up off the floor? If I had a choice, I would rather see the Cardinals help a team out of their division if not out of their league. Want to be a Bird that bad, Zack? Well, why don't you have your people call their people in November when you're a free agent?
Second, Grienke is a guy who hasn't exactly done well as a big game pitcher. He's 3-3 with a 6.48 ERA for his career in the post season. The reason he ended up in Milwaukee in the first place it because they big city teams shied away from him after he suffered a lengthy bout of social anxiety issues when he was with Kansas City. So, if there is concern that he can't handle the big stage, is that the sort of guy you want to pin your hopes on in the stretch and in the playoffs?
Finally, Greinke is a notorious clubhouse sourpuss. His teammates don't really seem to care for him much. Would he upset the chemistry in St. Louis?
All of that being said, I'm all for bringing in talented pitching. Especially when the guy wants to play in St. Louis. But I wouldn't give up a whole lot to rent a guy from Milwaukee.
If the Cardinals think they can sign Greinke with their Jake Westbrook and Lance Berkman savings in 2013, go for it. But I would prefer to see them send Milwaukee top prospect Shelby Miller to the Brewers one for one than see them deal three or four talented youngsters.
If Greinke signed a four-year deal, it would make it worth the loss of young talent. But, at least in my book, Miller is much less untouchable these days as he has stumbled in Class AAA while Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn have emerged as young major league starters. The guy who is at the top of my untouchable list is power hitting outfielder Oscar Tavares.
Rosenthal also mentions, as I have previously, that the Cardinals seem like logical trading partners with the Astros for Wandy Rodriguez thanks to their relationship with Houston GM Jeff Luhnow.