The Arizona Diamonbacks are rumored to want to deal starter Zack Greinke this off season. Could a reunion with the Milwaukee Brewers be in the works?
The Milwaukee Brewers are looking to upgrade their pitching staff, and the Arizona Diamondbacks want to get out from under Zack Greinke‘s contract. Is there a chance that the two teams can work out a deal?
How bad is Greinke’s contract?
It’s not good. Greinke is owed $34.4 million per season for the next three seasons. That’s over $100 million for a pitcher who just turned 35. Greinke averaged 89.6 MPH on his fastball last year. What’s that going to look like in three years?
How was Greinke’s 2018 season?
Good! Greinke tossed 207 2/3 innings and posted a 3.21 ERA. He struck out 199 and walked 43, while giving up 28 homers.
How about the peripheral numbers?
Less good. Greinke gave up a ton of hard contact, and the dip in velocity is concerning with a pitcher on the wrong side of 30.
His hard contact rate was over 40% for the first time in his career last year. His 23.0% line drive rate was the highest he’s allowed since 2013. His .272 BABIP allowed in 2018 was 23 points lower than his career average.
The 28 homers he allowed last year are also absolutely terrifying, especially if he comes to the Milwaukee Brewers and throws half his games in Miller Park.
What would a deal for Greinke look like?
Greinke had a solid season last year, but few GMs will want to commit over $100 million to a pitcher who will turn 38 before his deal ends. Based on Greinke’s age, skill level, and the contract, the only way the D-Backs can flip him is if they eat the majority of his contract, and even then they won’t get much in return.
Greinke had a great run with the Milwaukee Brewers, but that was seven years ago. He’s not in his late 20’s, and he’s not quite the ace that he was back then. He’s a capable mid-rotation starter, but he has an awful contract.
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The only way Greinke returns to the Milwaukee Brewers is if the D-Backs pay them to do so, and that makes this deal unlikely. It’s believe the D-Backs would eat up to $10 million per year on Greinke’s contract, but the team getting him would still be on the hook for $24.5 million. The Milwaukee Brewers could likely get Dallas Keuchel or Nathan Eovaldi for much less, and still add a solid starter to their staff. A reunion with Greinke would be interesting, but it’s probably not a deal that the Brewers would want to make.