Home > Uncategorized > Zach Greinke and the Horrible Idea to Trade Him

Zach Greinke and the Horrible Idea to Trade Him

In the past 72 hours, I’ve read some pretty stupid things stated by many sports columnists. It’s mostly been about how losing the Super Bowl has undoubtedly tarnished, trashed Peyton Manning’s legacy as an all-time great NFL quarterback forever. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

But not as ridiculous as this piece of excrement I saw yesterday from Kansas City Kansan sports editor/columnist Nick Sloan. I feel bad giving him any publicity, but anyone who can write something like that, say they believe in it without laughing until tears and look in the mirror the next day without a sense of shame deserves a salute.

Let’s break this down …

In the midst of a 1-15 season in 1989, Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson came to the conclusion the only way Dallas would be competitive long-term is to make a blockbuster trade.

They did

THEY DID?! Oh, thank heavens! This was a huge rumor for such a long time, but fear not loyal readers! We can finally confirm that the Dallas Cowboys have made a blockbuster trade!!!

Wait, isn’t this supposed to be a column about baseball? I see names like Greinke and Soria in the headline. Those are baseball players the last time I checked. So why would this open with a line about a two-decade old football trade?

Uh-oh, I don’t like where this is going …

They traded Herschel Walker for eight draft picks, six of which would be eventually used. Although there were a lot of other pieces involved in the deal – Dallas traded four of their own picks while Minnesota traded five players – these draft picks were used to fuel a dynasty.

Well, the trade far more complicated than a running back for eight draft picks, but that’s like saying “Gamer” was ruined by one scene. That’s nit-picking. The whole movie was still really, really terrible.

Two of the picks were spent on Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson, two staples of those great teams. Additional picks were used to trade up for Russell Maryland, who was awesome in his early years.

Dallas won three Super Bowls in part because of that trade and Johnson’s aggressive draft maneuvering.

Hey, remember the time when this column was supposed to be about baseball? Those were some good times, man. Good times. More than 130 words in and our boy Sloan still hasn’t stopped kissing Jimmy Johnson’s feet.

While that trade will never be duplicated again, it’s time for the Kansas City Royals (huzzah!) to develop that mindset.

I totally agree. I mean, think about it: When was the last time the Kansas City Royals actually won the Super Bowl? They have been seriously slacking. And you know they are at least the second-best football team in Missouri.

In an American League Central that features four more talented teams than the Royals, it’s time to shake things up.

Trade Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria.

OK, eight lines in and we’ve finally reached a relevant point in this article. Now let’s see here — Sloan says “Trade Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria.”

Give me just a second. I’m feeling a bit woozy …

Just because one team IN A DIFFERENT SPORT MORE THAN TWO DECADES AGO completed a trade that would be considered a felony in 49 other states, Mr. Sloan thinks that there is at least one more sucker out there who will abandon their entire future for the next three seasons for the services of two pitchers.

Oh yes, because trades in football and baseball are so alike.

This sounds like a completely childish proposal. “But if he can do it, why can’t I?”

The Royals’ two most popular and talented players, the trades would leave many fans disappointed.

Or as one of my friends said: “The entire fanbase would rape and murder Dayton Moore.”

However, it could also leave the Royals’ cupboard stacked with young talent and within five years, the Royals could be a prime-time contending team.

Five years, eh? OK, so what has happened in the last five years with the Royals’ young talent? Other than Greinke and Soria, who has this team developed into a solid player? Maybe Billy Butler, but that’s very preliminary. Alex Gordon will continue to stay up with the big club, but he’ll need to hit above .260 in the Majors. David DeJesus? The Royals’ last home-grown talent, outside of those whom Sloan wants to send away, to make an All-Star team was Mike Sweeney in 2005. Certainly, he was a good player, but on the Royals, he was the franchise’s player of the aughts.

In 2004, Ken Harvey became an All-Star.

Less than two years later, he was out of the majors and might as well have become an Allstate agent

In 2003, closer Mike MacDougal made the All-Star team and saved 27 games. Then he went on to save 20 games … from 2004 through 2006. He finally saved 20 games again last season as a member of the Washington Nationals.

Before that, you have to go back to 1999 with Jose Rosado.

For Sloan to just assume that the return package for Greinke and Soria will transform the Royals into a “prime-time contending team” is blatant ignorance.

ESPN recently ranked the Royals farm system. It ranked ninth, the highest in years.

And how many of those kids on the farm have faced Justin Verlander, Jake Peavy, Mark Buehrle, etc?

Consider trading Greinke.

Consider? That’s a rather cautious word. A few paragraphs ago, Sloan basically demanded a trade of the staff’s ace. I think he’s starting to back off!!

Greinke has one of the friendliest contracts in baseball and any team – not just the Yankees, Red Sox or Mets – could afford him. A team like Tampa Bay, Texas or Anaheim, who might be just one piece away from a title, might not hesitate to dish out four or even five solid prospects.

Soria, a top notch closer, could generate two to even three prospects.

Missing hyphen aside … five prospects for Greinke. Three for Soria. Simply, that’s a hilarious order.

Five + three = eight.

Eight prospects. Eight? Man, that seems like something I should recognize. Where have I heard that before?

“They traded Herschel Walker for eight draft picks … ”

Sloan clearly can’t help himself now. I’m pretty sure that if someone asked him at this moment how his day is going, he would answer, “Eight.”

“Mike, you want some coffee?”

“Eight.”

Mike, what do you think about this headline?”

“Eight.”

“Hey Mikey, you wanna go shoot some pool tomorrow?”

“Eight.”

“Yeah, 8-ball. You in?”

“Eight.”

While the six to eight prospects all wouldn’t turn out, odds are that half of them would. And joining the highly ranked class already, the Royals could have the premier minor league system in baseball by making these two moves.

HALF????? At this point, the Royals would be ecstatic if a quarter of their top prospects worked out! Since 1997, the Royals have selected in the top-10 of the MLB draft in 12 of 13 seasons. The only year they didn’t, 2004, they selected Butler at 14. It’s too early to judge of the team’s 2007-2009 selections, but Butler is looking like a steal considering the team’s deplorable recent draft history.

1997, No. 7 pick: Dan Reichert. Out of KC by 2003. Out of the league by 2004. In five seasons, he never had a WHIP lower than 1.50. But he did league the league with 18 wild pitches in 2000. So he’s got that going for him … .

1998, No. 4 pick: Jeff Austin. Spent two of his three ML seasons in KC. Thirty-one games, 37 innings, 20 walks. Good night now.

1999, No. 7 pick: Kyle Snyder. Got the call in 2003, but saw his career crushed by injury. He missed the entire 2004 season due to Tommy John surgery and had four DL stints between 2003-05. His pitching line from his final appearance as a Royal: two innings, 10 hits, nine runs (five earned).

2000, No. 4 pick Mike Stodolka. A pitcher who never pitched above double-A. Switched to a hitter. Made it to triple-A in 2008.

2001, No. 9 pick Colt Griffin. Maybe his first minor-league start scarred him for good. In Low-A ball, he gave up seven runs and seven walks in 2.1 innings. He never made it past double-A and was out of baseball by 2005.

2002, No. 7 pick Zack Greinke. Look, pa! We got one! We got one!

2003, No. 5 pick Christopher Lubanski. Bad news: He recorded a .654 OPS in 35 games at triple-A last season. Good news: He’s still in baseball!

2005, No. 2 pick Alex Gordon. As a guy who is supposed to be the next great, natural hitter, it’s certainly not starting out well. There’s the low average and the fact that he hasn’t recorded an OPS of more than .800. Thanks in part due to injury, 2009 was his worst year in three ML seasons. Also, I love this headline. So much can change in baseball in a very short time span.

2006, No. 1 Luke Hochevar. It’s way too early to cast a verdict on Hochevar’s career. But if you look at his splits from the majors to the minors last season, he is on track to be another dreaded quadruple-A pitcher.

The point of this being, how in the hell can Sloan say that “odds are half” of the prospects will turn out to be productive for the Royals??? This team can’t even bring along their top picks.

Or, the Royals could have more pieces to trade for more talent.

Or more prospects. That would be fantastic.

Like those Cowboys and the NFC East, the Royals are too far away from their American League Central rivals, let alone the beasts in the American League East.

So let’s ship out our two best players, give fans absolutely no reason to attend games and ruin the bright futures of a bunch more blue chips

Considering Greinke had his best season ever last year, the Royals still nearly lost 100 games. Will Greinke repeat a season like he’s just had? As good as he was, it’s unlikely.

It’s unlikely that Greinke will repeat one of the greatest pitching seasons of this millennium. Way to go out there on a limb, Mike. It’s at this point (at the very latest) that you start to wonder why Sloan wrote this column. He doesn’t sound too qualified to comment on this issue.

Oh. He’s not. Carrying on …

Soria is one of the top three closers in baseball. But what is good about a closer if your team is not in the position to close?

Two problems here: Soria has been very good in the past two years, but names like Nathan, Rivera and Papelbon jump off the top of my head as better closers. So top-3 is a Boras-like claim.

But more importantly, closer is a volatile position. One year, you’re 2005 Brad Lidge.

Then you’re 2006 Brad Lidge.

Then you redeem yourself as 2008 Brad Lidge.

Followed by 2009 Brad Lidge.

Frequently, new guys come out of nowhere (Ryan Franklin, David Aardsma, Heath Bell in 2009) to produce numbers similar to those of the game’s best on the cheap. Granted, Soria has put up three solid seasons as closer, no team is going to give up three top prospects for a player at a position that witnesses to a lot of change.

Trading the cornerstones of the franchise would be a bitter pill to swallow. Initially.

Like a cyanide pill. But that bitterness will wear off once your breathing stops.

But within five years, these two moves could fuel a true rebuilding movement for the Royals – the one we’ve been promised for eons.

Five years. A decade. Never. You know, soon enough.

Imagine having three or four different prospects come up each year during a three-year period like those Cowboys did with the NFL Draft?

Three or four prospects EACH YEAR?? Yet another instance how Sloan shows that he doesn’t know the difference between player development in football and baseball. That sentence basically displays how he is unaware of the concept of minor league baseball. In football, top picks come out of college and a good number of them are expected to produce right away. In baseball, prospects mature at their own rate, depending on how they adjust to the game’s many levels. Some have a quick climb. Many never make it. The Royals see a lot of the latter.

If you want another instance of eight players not exceeding the value of one, here’s this.

Oh, sorry. Got caught up in all this football talk.

Instead of just getting excited about the occasional Alex Gordon, Billy Butler or Greinke, the Royals could have three young players to look forward to each season.

Mike must have had a word count to hit because this is basically the same sentence as the previous one.

Add to the fact the Royals would likely receive a very high draft pick by doing these trades, a powerhouse farm could be built overnight.

Paraphrase: “By doing these trades, the Royals wouldn’t simply be just a bad team. They would be historically pathetic. They could make the 1962 Mets look like a playoff team. So that means the Royals would be guaranteed the top pick in the next few drafts.”

Again … Royals … player development … doesn’t compute … system failure!

The word “could” appears a lot in what I just typed.

So does the word “trade” and the name “Greinke.” That when this piece should have been stopped. Not “could.” Should.

However, “could” is a lot better than “won’t.” And right now, the Royals are much closer to “won’t.”

I’ll close this post with my opinion on this column by way of a quote from literary genius Homer Simpson:

“You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: Never try.

If the Royals trade Zack Greinke, what will I do with my precious shirt?

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