For all the ongoing talk about Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and the Indians’ trio of starters, Zack Greinke remains one of the more intriguing trade candidates on the market. Zach Buchanan of The Athletic takes an intriguing look at the dilemma the D-backs face in a potential Greinke trade in his latest column, while also revealing the 15 teams on Greinke’s no-trade list.
Per Buchanan, Greinke can block deals to the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Twins, Tigers, Angels, Athletics, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Giants, Rockies, Dodgers and Padres. Obviously, that list includes several clubs who could make sense a viable trade partner for the D-backs, although Fancred’s Jon Heyman writes in his latest weekly notes column that neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees view Greinke as a fit for their clubs. Still, Greinke has already been connected to the Cardinals and it’s certainly possible to imagine interest from a few other organizations that appear on the list. MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweets that the Reds have checked in on Greinke, though John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 pulls no punches in rejecting that rumor (Twitter link).
Greinke, 35, has three years and $104.5MM remaining on his contract between his guaranteed salaries and a trio of $3MM payouts on an $18MM signing bonus that was spread out over the life of his six-year, $206.5MM deal. However, Buchanan reports within his column that the signing bonus payouts will remain the D-backs’ responsibility even in the event of a trade. Greinke’s contract does come with a $2MM assignment bonus in the event of a trade, which seemingly falls on the acquiring club, meaning that any team interest in trading for him would be taking on a total of $97.5MM over three seasons (minus any cash the D-backs include to grease the wheels on a swap).
That’s still a major sum for a new team to pay, given Greinke’s age, but the former Cy Young winner has been excellent for Arizona across the past two seasons. The veteran righty crossed the 200-inning threshold in both 2017 and 2018 while posting near-identical 3.20 and 3.21 ERAs. He’s maintained his elite control, still misses bats at an above-average rate and still possesses average or better ground-ball tendencies, as well.