Braves continue to evaluate Greinke and other options
As Brewers general manager Doug Melvin is making it clear Zack Greinke will be traded before Tuesday’s Trade Deadline, the Braves are paying close attention and evaluating the cost of acquiring the former Cy Young Award winner. Greinke has been at the top of Atlanta’s wish list for more than a month and they have made it known they want to sign him beyond this year.
To get Greinke, the Braves will likely have to part with top pitching prospect Julio Teheran and at least one other highly-regarded prospect. It’s an incredibly steep price for a two-month rental. But the Braves want to keep Greinke beyond this season and if they are confident it would be a possibility, they might be willing to pay this price. The Brewers veteran is the one available pitcher who could be considered a legitimate ace, who could match up against other top starting pitchers in October.
Greinke has provided indication that he wants to play in Atlanta and the Braves’ Spring Training headquarters are located approximately 20 minutes from where he was raised in the Orlando area.
But the Braves’ ability to sign him this winter could be influenced by the six-year, $144 million contract extension Cole Hamels received from the Phillies on Wednesday.
If the Braves do not land Greinke, there is still a chance they could land Ryan Dempster, who blocked a trade that would have brought him to Atlanta earlier this week. Dempster is holding out hope that the Cubs will send him to the Dodgers. If this does not happen, he could still end up with the Braves.
The Braves have interest in James Shields of the Rays. But like the Marlins with Josh Johnson and the Padres with Edinson Volquez, the Rays are providing every indication that they will not move him unless they are blown away with an offer.
The Rangers, White Sox and Angels are among the other teams showing definite interest in Greinke.
A wealth of prospects could aid the Rangers in their pursuit of Greinke. But on Thursday there was a sense they might be showing at least equal interest in Johnson. - Mark Bowman