Price was just too high for Zack Greinke
First of all, no one in this market has pushed harder for Greinke than Jamey Newberg, who was proposing trades for Greinke before he won the 2009 Cy Young Award. Newberg analyzes the deal here and notes that the price was just too high if the comparables written by a few respected people in the industry are correct.
Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein thinks that Elvis Andrus, Tanner Scheppers, Julio Borbon and Martin Perez is what it would have taken to get him. Ben Balder of Baseball America tweeted his comparables yesterday and listed Andrus, Scheppers, Robbie Erlin and Borbon.
Newberg makes it clear he would have not pulled the trigger on that deal. I wouldn't have either. I'm a believer that you use some of these prospects to make a deal for a frontline pitcher if the deal is right (and I'm probably more willing to deal them than many of you, if my inbox is any indication). But I'm certainly not trading that kind of a package to get Greinke. No way. That's just way too high a price (can you imagine if the Rangers traded Andrus to make this deal?)
BTW, you can read Newberg's entire column here.
Baseball Prospectus discusses the deal in length and, of course, invokes the Rangers' trade of Mark Teixeira to the Braves. The story contains this portion:
If this deal seems a little light to you in terms of return, you're not alone. Maybe Greinke's limited no-trade protection put the Royals in an especially difficult situation, but if this is really all that two years of an ace brings you in December, that would suggest they'd have been better off holding onto him, and folding up any trade negotiations until later. Not that everybody is going to get what the Rangers got from the Braves at the deadline for Mark Teixeira in 2007, but a year and a half of control while trying to make a run at a pennant has a way of pressuring bidders into action. If this was the best deal they could get for Greinke now, the absence of any one definite difference-maker for the fortunes of the franchise strikes me as a squandered opportunity to convert Greinke into a more certain component of any future success they might aspire to. As good as Jeffress might be, relievers aren't the rarest of rare assets, Cain might be no better than the veterans he'll contend with, and Escobar could be nothing more than a more affordable defensive upgrade on Betancourt.ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick gives his opinion of the deal here. And you can read a column in the Kansas City Star on the whole situation. Sam Mellinger said the feeling is sadness that ownership couldn't afford to keep Greinke and that he didn't want to stay. Here's a look at Greinke's deal and others done in recent seasons to include aces.
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