Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Yankees Post-season FAILURES

Other Baseball Today, 07:10 PM
This has been rehashed time and time again so I won't get into the Twins failures against the Yankees. Instead, this is about the Yankees...
Full topic ›

Front Page: A Relief Ace Rotation, Part 1: The Argument f...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 07:00 PM
We live in the age of Bullpenning, The Opener, and a never-ending quest for The Next Andrew Miller. Some 20 years ago, trying to limit th...
Full topic ›

Twins Daily is the best place to talk baseball and it...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:41 PM
I know some of you may have scuffled with them a bit but the reason you're still here - and the reason Twins Daily exists, period - is be...
Full topic ›

Front Page: Twins Trade Targets: 4 Potential Starting Pit...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 06:17 PM
The Minnesota Twins are in store for a starting rotation overhaul this offseason with only Jose Berrios and Martin Perez under contract....
Full topic ›

2019 MLB (Non-Twins) Postseason Discussion Thread

Other Baseball Today, 05:48 PM
Here's thread for general (non-Twins) 2019 MLB postseason discussion!
Full topic ›

Recent Blogs


Could the Twins Afford to Take on Zack Greinke’s Contract?

We have heard the Minnesota Twins linked to a number of starting pitchers at the trade deadline, including guys like Marcus Stroman, Madison Bumgarner, Noah Syndergaard and Robbie Ray. However, there is another big-name starting pitcher that could be available, and that is Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks are reportedly in full sell mode this trade deadline, which would make you think they are interested in dumping the large amount of money they still owe to Greinke through the 2021 season.
Image courtesy of © Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Twins fans are probably quite familiar with Zack Greinke, who started his illustrious career with the Kansas City Royals. If you rewind the clock back a decade, Greinke was in the middle of a Cy Young season at the same time Joe Mauer seemed to find his home run stroke on his way to the AL MVP. After the 2010 season, the Royals traded Greinke away to the Milwaukee Brewers for a massive haul that included Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi. After a solid season and a half for the Brewers, Greinke was again traded, this time to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for Jean Segura. Once the 2012 season had ended, Greinke inked a six-year $147 million contract to move across town to pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers. After three great seasons with the Dodgers, where Greinke posted a 2.30 ERA over 602 and 2/3 innings, including a 1.62 ERA in 2015, Greinke was able to opt out of his contract, and in turn signed a six-year $206 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite this large contract, it is hard to say Greinke hasn’t been worth it as he has a 3.40 ERA in 709 and 2/3 innings during the first three and a half years of his deal.

Despite being at age 36, Greinke is still one of the premier starting pitchers in the game today. Greinke isn’t a pitcher that relies on unhittable stuff to get hitters out, instead he is an excellent pure pitcher, which has helped him stay successful even this late into his career. Greinke uses an effective six-pitch mix, including an Eephus Curveball that sits in the low 60’s, which he mixes in from time to time to keep opposing hitters off balance. Another thing that Greinke has is excellent command. Among the 70 qualified starting pitchers this year, Greinke’s 3.3 percent walk rate ranks second, behind only Hyun-Jin Ryu. Greinke also racks up his fare share of strikeouts. So far in 2019, Greinke has a 23.6 percent strikeout rate, which is slightly above average for an MLB starter this day in age, and inn comparison to other Minnesota Twins starters, Greinke’s strikeout rate would be the second highest, behind only Jake Odorizzi. All of this has helped Greinke put up a 2.87 ERA (3.15 FIP) in 141 innings pitched this season. From all this, it is clear that Greinke would drastically improve the Twins rotation, as he could slide right in with Jose Berrios to give them a dynamic 1-2 punch.

Leading up to the trade deadline, the Twins front office has made it very clear that they are not interested jeopardizing their future by trading away too much draft capital. While no one prospect is off the table, it would be desired to not give up the likes of Royce Lewis or Alex Kirilloff. Additionally, Derek Falvey has been quoted saying owner Jim Pohlad is willing to spend “what we need” to improve the team. With the increase in both attendance and TV ratings that the Twins have had as a result of their success this season, it is reasonable to assume that even the stingy Pohlads would be willing to spend some more money. While the Twins have built up quite the reputation for not wanting to spend under this ownership regime, they did show back in 2009 that they were will to spend once the they felt the team was good, as evidence of the 150 percent increase in payroll after the 2009 season. While most of it came from signing Mauer to his eight-year deal, they still opened up the checkbook for him. Taking on Greinke’s contract would be a move much in the same vein.

So, why would the Twins be interested in taking on Zack Greinke’s contract that is due to pay him $32 million over each of the next two seasons? The main reason would be the relatively small amount of prospect capital the Twins would need to give up to acquire Greinke. While other starting pitchers with multiple years of team control, like Marcus Stroman or Noah Syndergaard, would cost a lot in terms of prospects, Greinke wouldn’t because of the amount of money he is owed. Just look at the New York Yankees trade for Gincarlo Stanton couple years ago as an example for this. Despite the fact that Stanton was coming off an MVP season, the best prospect the Yankees needed to give up was Jorge Guzman, who at the time was their ninth ranked prospect (per MLB Pipeline), thanks to the massive amount of money remaining on his deal.

Another factor to keep in mind is none of the Twins young core players are due to become free agents until after Greinke’s contact expires, so it wouldn’t hinder their ability to resign them if that is what they would like to do. Additionally, the Twins estimated payrolls for 2020 and 2021 currently sit at just $97 million and $88 million respectively, and that’s if the Twins pick up their team options on both Nelson Cruz and Martin Perez. So, adding on the $32 million from Greinke only puts the Twins roughly where they are right now going into 2020. Additionally, as part of the trade negotiations, the Twins could bargain the Diamondbacks into picking up at least a portion of Greinke’s remaining contract. How much, will depend on what the Twins are willing to give up prospect wise, but it still shouldn’t require much to get the Diamondback to do so. If the Twins could get the Diamondbacks to eat at least a third of Greinke’s remaining salary, without having to give up a big trade package, this could be just the kind of deal the Twins are looking for, based on everything the front office has said so far.

What are your thoughts? Would you be interested in a trade for Zack Greinke to bolster the Twins rotation, or would you prefer the Twins keep their sights set on other pitching targets before the trade deadline?

  • brvama, Oldgoat_MN, hybridbear and 1 other like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

34 Comments

Yes.
    • Twins33, 70charger, tvagle and 2 others like this
Photo
pierre75275
Jul 28 2019 02:06 PM
I would be thrilled if the Twins got Grienke and Ray and moved Perez and Pineda to the bullpen.
If they took on all the money the prospect cost might not be that bad.
Photo
yarnivek1972
Jul 28 2019 02:22 PM
Nice article. Until the point that it fails to mention that the Twins are on Greinke’s no-trade list. That’s not insurmountable, but usually the team is going to have to offer some kind of incentive to get the player to waive it. I certainly have zero interest in giving a 36 year old an extension. Not sure what other incentive there is to offer.
    • Jerr, diehardtwinsfan, spycake and 9 others like this
I'm convinced. Would really like this move for now and the next 2 years.
Whatever within reason this takes
I've always liked Greinke, and let's face it, if he wasn't 36, we wouldn't even be talking about him. Meaning, he's the best pitcher available in my eyes.
    • Oldgoat_MN and 70charger like this
Photo
DutchFarmer
Jul 28 2019 03:09 PM
1,000x yes
Photo
Andrew Thares
Jul 28 2019 03:09 PM

 

Nice article. Until the point that it fails to mention that the Twins are on Greinke’s no-trade list. That’s not insurmountable, but usually the team is going to have to offer some kind of incentive to get the player to waive it. I certainly have zero interest in giving a 36 year old an extension. Not sure what other incentive there is to offer.

The impact of the no trade clause comes down to the individual player's leverage. A 36 year old pitcher making $32 million a year for two more years doesn't have a much for negotiating leverage to improve his deal. He could maybe ask for a couple more million, but in a deal involving this much money already that is pretty negligible. Unless Greinke has some personal reason for not wanting to pitch for the Twins, I don't see that no trade clause being much of a factor. 

    • MN_ExPat likes this
Photo
yarnivek1972
Jul 28 2019 03:20 PM

The impact of the no trade clause comes down to the individual player's leverage. A 36 year old pitcher making $32 million a year for two more years doesn't have a much for negotiating leverage to improve his deal. He could maybe ask for a couple more million, but in a deal involving this much money already that is pretty negligible. Unless Greinke has some personal reason for not wanting to pitch for the Twins, I don't see that no trade clause being much of a factor.


Greinke also doesn’t have much incentive to waive his no trade clause. Maybe it is personal against the Twins. You don’t know that it isn’t. Calling it not much of a factor is foolish IMO. A lot of the teams on his no trade list are perrenial contenders. So, clearly having a chance to go to a better team isn’t his top priority or those teams wouldn’t be on it. Maybe he likes it in Arizona.

The point still remains that if one is going to write an article about a potential trade target it would seem to me that that player having a “no trade” list with the Twins listed on it is pertinent.
    • Jerr, Danchat, spycake and 1 other like this
Photo
pierre75275
Jul 28 2019 03:33 PM
I dare to believe that you would be hard pressed to find a Twins fan who is unaware of the fact that the Twins are on Grienke's no trade list.
It has been thoroughly documented
Photo
yarnivek1972
Jul 28 2019 03:39 PM

I dare to believe that you would be hard pressed to find a Twins fan who is unaware of the fact that the Twins are on Grienke's no trade list.
It has been thoroughly documented


For most of the members of this forum? Probably true. However, this was posted on the public Twins Daily site as an article. I’m pretty sure those are read by plenty of people that aren’t members of the forum and that probably would describe themselves as a more casual fan. Pretty good chance they don’t know that.

While I like the concept of adding Greinke I don't see this FO taking on A 30M per year contract. I am not saying they are cheap but so far it seems like they have been more about financial flexibility year to year rather than boxing themselves in to any future payroll constraints. 

 

I think the FO is more interested in extending their current young performing players(i.e. Kepler, Polanco).I think they prefer taking calculated risks on players they think are on the verge of a breakout and\or coming back from a down season maybe due to injury (i,e. Schoop, Cron, Pineda).I think if you add Greinke's salary it severely limits what they have been trying to do which is to prepare to keep our own players for as long as possible and make value moves in the off season.

 

I know people will argue the money is there and it is but I think this FO is really looking to maximize the money spent in an efficient manner as possible (i.e, Performance value of the player per dollar).I don't think it is there in a Greinke deal.

 

While i don't think it is impossible that the FO would go for Greinke IMO it is unlikely.

    • Jerr, brvama, Reider and 2 others like this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Jul 28 2019 03:42 PM
Like most things, the devil is in the details but depending on the prospect requirement and financial workings, I’d be all in favor of taking on Grienke.
    • DocBauer, Nine of twelve and In My La-Z-boy like this

The impact of the no trade clause comes down to the individual player's leverage. A 36 year old pitcher making $32 million a year for two more years doesn't have a much for negotiating leverage to improve his deal. He could maybe ask for a couple more million, but in a deal involving this much money already that is pretty negligible. Unless Greinke has some personal reason for not wanting to pitch for the Twins, I don't see that no trade clause being much of a factor.


I think it's enough of a factor to at least mention it.

Also, it's not a full no-trade clause, which further works against the Twins a bit. If it affected every team equally, you could more easily dismiss it, but as it is, the Twins are on the no-trade list but contenders like the Braves, Astros, and Brewers are not. If the Diamondbacks simply want to move him for primarily salary relief, those teams are going to have an easier path to consummating a deal than the Twins.
    • Jerr and In My La-Z-boy like this
FWIW, Greinke's contract also has a $2 mil one-time "assignment bonus" in the event that he is traded.
    • In My La-Z-boy likes this

 

The impact of the no trade clause comes down to the individual player's leverage. A 36 year old pitcher making $32 million a year for two more years doesn't have a much for negotiating leverage to improve his deal. He could maybe ask for a couple more million, but in a deal involving this much money already that is pretty negligible. Unless Greinke has some personal reason for not wanting to pitch for the Twins, I don't see that no trade clause being much of a factor. 

I've heard Greinke really likes being in AZ and may not want to come to MN just based on personal preference. That could be overblown but he has long been known as a bit of an "oddball" to put it politely and could lead to him blocking a potential trade. We'll see!

Love to have Zack Greinke on the team, if he's actually willing to forego his no-trade clause. Twins have at least a couple pitchers that would love to see how Greinke throws various pitches. Greinke himself might learn something from Ryne Harper, a guy that is thriving despite never owning a big heater. 

Of course they can afford him. It's a choice. But I'd bet they don't acquire him.
    • notoriousgod71 likes this
Photo
Nine of twelve
Jul 28 2019 04:30 PM

The thing about his no-trade clause - keep in mind he signed his current contract in 2015. The Twins had not been in the postseason since 2010 and even though they hung around that season there was no indication that the team was about to become a serious contender. Now that things have changed I would guess he could be persuaded to waive it for us with little in the way of compensation. If you were a good pitcher wouldn't you want to have our offense working for you?

    • 70charger, Reider, DocBauer and 1 other like this

The thing about his no-trade clause - keep in mind he signed his current contract in 2015. The Twins had not been in the postseason since 2010 and even though they hung around that season there was no indication that the team was about to become a serious contender. Now that things have changed I would guess he could be persuaded to waive it for us with little in the way of compensation. If you were a good pitcher wouldn't you want to have our offense working for you?


He submits a new list of teams every season.
    • Jerr likes this
Photo
yarnivek1972
Jul 28 2019 04:40 PM

The thing about his no-trade clause - keep in mind he signed his current contract in 2015. The Twins had not been in the postseason since 2010 and even though they hung around that season there was no indication that the team was about to become a serious contender. Now that things have changed I would guess he could be persuaded to waive it for us with little in the way of compensation. If you were a good pitcher wouldn't you want to have our offense working for you?


But the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers and other teams on the no trade list are perrenial contenders. So, clearly going to a winner isn’t necesarily what is important to him.

As for what “compensation” it might take, I suppose it is impossible to say. Greinke has to know that at his age there is no team that is going to extend him past the two more years he is already under contract.
    • Jerr likes this
Photo
Nine of twelve
Jul 28 2019 04:43 PM

 

He submits a new list of teams every season.

I didn't realize that but even so, after last year there wasn't much buzz about our team.

I didn't realize that but even so, after last year there wasn't much buzz about our team.


I think his point is, if the Twins are on there with the Yankees, Red Sox, etc., it probably has nothing to do with contention status. Thus, the fact that the Twins are contenders in 2019 might not sway him as much as we think.

He submits a new list of teams every season.

Is that true for Greinke? I have seen annual no-trade provisions like that before, but I don't know if that is universal or if it applies to the Greinke deal.

If it was yearly, it would seem to be nonsensical that Greinke would list Baltimore and Detroit for 2019.

"limited no-trade protection: may block trades to 15 clubs (Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Colorado, Detroit, LA Angels, LA Dodgers, Minnesota, NY Yankees, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, Toronto as of 11/18)"
    • 70charger and In My La-Z-boy like this

Teams on no trade lists are many times about wanting to have leverage, and not necessarily because they don't want to be traded, or wouldn't accept to be traded to that particular team. It shouldn't be taken as they would not accept a trade to that team per se.


Similar Articles


by Ted Schwerzler , 16 Oct 2019
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 14 Oct 2019
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 10 Oct 2019
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 09 Oct 2019
Photo


by Ted Schwerzler , 08 Oct 2019
Photo