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  • Could the Twins Sign Zack Greinke?

    The World Series is almost underway, which means that the official start of the offseason is rapidly approaching. When the free agent market opens up, one of the central figures will be Zack Greinke, who is the clear top dog in a deep pitching pack. The former Cy Young winner offers ace-level ability, youth and a durable track record.

    Sure, there are a few question marks surrounding the right-hander, who turns 29 this weekend. He's had some anxiety issues in the past, and his ERA in three seasons since winning the Cy Young with Kansas City is a somewhat pedestrian 3.83. Nevertheless, compared to this year's other big free agent prize, Josh Hamilton, Greinke looks like a perfectly safe bet. Many believe he'll get a nine-figure deal at a time where spending is ramping up and many clubs are looking for pitching help.

    As a team that needs pitching more desperately than perhaps any other, could the Twins be a player for Greinke? It certainly wouldn't be in their nature to bid on a top free agent pitcher, but things have changed (you'd hope) in the Target Field era and this franchise could use a jolt to re-energize the fan base. Given the lack of high-end pitching in the pipeline, securing an arm like Greinke for the next five or six years would make a whole lot of sense.

    It's difficult to envision Terry Ryan entering a bidding war against heavyweight suitors like the Angels and Rangers, but in a recent interview with ESPN 1500 he at least left open the possibility:

    "We've certainly got to pay attention to the biggest names out thereÖ We've got interest in those types of guys. Whether the years and dollars equate to what we're trying to do is another story."
    The last part of that quote seemingly rules out the possibility of a mega-contract for someone like Greinke. Then again, if the club was internally mulling that type of investment, you would hardly expect them to shout it out and alert the rest of the league to their intentions.

    More than most top-tier free agent pitchers, Greinke seems like a fit with Minnesota. He shies away from the bright spotlight more than your typical star player, and has spent nearly his entire career pitching in the Midwest. He's a quiet, cerebral guy that consistently throws strikes. This isn't a CC Sabathia or Cliff Lee, and he probably won't get paid like one, which could improve the chances for a club like the Twins.

    Of course, there are going to be a lot of teams making their pitch to Greinke this winter. Getting in that mix would not only be uncharacteristic for the Twins, it would be unprecedented. But, when you get down to it, they do have the money to make this type of splash if they really wanted to, especially when you consider that Justin Morneau's $14 million will come off the books in a year and revenue would likely rebound substantially with a star like Greinke brought aboard.

    Would they actually be willing to stray so far from their comfort zone and saddle themselves with another huge contract alongside Mauer's for the better part of the next decade? Difficult to fathom, but who knows. At some point, they need to stop operating like a small-market team.
    This article was originally published in blog: Could the Twins Sign Zack Greinke? started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 39 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      In an effort not to be negative....I will just say it would be great if they signed him.
    1. AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS's Avatar
      AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS -
      oh man i sure wish this would come true. All I want for christmas is some starting pitching!
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Actually, I think there is a decent chance - in 2019. He, like Thome, seems like a guy destined to eventually play for the Twins, just not at the peak of his career.
    1. Eric R Pleiss's Avatar
      Eric R Pleiss -
      At some point, they need to stop operating like a small-market team.
      Maybe not small-market, but they're still a mid-market team. Trading from a position of strength (like young, talented, outfielders) for pitching makes a lot more sense than overpaying a free-agent pitcher like Greinke.
    1. minn55441's Avatar
      minn55441 -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Actually, I think there is a decent chance - in 2019. He, like Thome, seems like a guy destined to eventually play for the Twins, just not at the peak of his career.
      I was really high on Greinke when he played for the Royals, but I just don't see him as that dominant guy anymore. Maybe my expectations are just too high for a #1 starter, but with all of the issues he has had over the last three seasons I'm not sure he is worth the gamble. If we have the option of picking up one $100 million starter, would this be our choice? Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to criticize the trade if we do get him, I just don't think that is the direction I would go. For the same money, I think there is the option of spreading the money over two starting pitchers each with an equal chance of long term success.

      When he moved to the national league, I thought he would dominate. Although he had stretches of some quality innings, I don't think he has the mental makeup to ultimately lead our pitching staff and that is what I would want from our number one.
    1. TheAntiGardy's Avatar
      TheAntiGardy -
      "At some point, they need to stop operating like a small-market team."

      I feel if they planned on moving away from the small market moniker, they wouldn't have brought back Terry Ryan. Unprecedented is the best word of this article. On an optimistic note.....Greinke would be awesome!
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheAntiGardy View Post
      "At some point, they need to stop operating like a small-market team."

      I feel if they planned on moving away from the small market moniker, they wouldn't have brought back Terry Ryan. Unprecedented is the best word of this article. On an optimistic note.....Greinke would be awesome!
      amen
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      rather then try and spend 120 million on grinke why wouldnt we look at shohei otani?
      an 18 year old out of japan (no posting fee needed) he is 6ī4 and throws 99-100 mph
      he would pair nicely with berrois for the future?
    1. dwintheiser's Avatar
      dwintheiser -
      As a team that needs pitching more desperately than perhaps any other
      I believe Red Sox fans would beg to differ with this statement.
    1. TheAntiGardy's Avatar
      TheAntiGardy -
      Not a bad idea....a true power arm it seems.
      But what do you do about being snakebit by Japanese talent after Nishi? No posting fee is a plus, of course.

      That you JohnnyG? Seems we are all making the transition....
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      well for 1 the ass, gm athony something or another got drunk with nishis agent , the twins did there due diligents by watching tapes of nishi then put in a bid(i believe the only 1) on him ...so i would suggest sending someone over there to watch him pitch..
      see what hes got and not sit in your hotel room drinking and watching videos

      as for my transition ive been getting banned here for a few months hahaha
      go twins ,
      but more importantly go away ryan and gardy
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      well for 1 the ass, gm athony something or another got drunk with nishis agent , the twins did there due diligents by watching tapes of nishi then put in a bid(i believe the only 1) on him ...so i would suggest sending someone over there to watch him pitch..
      see what hes got and not sit in your hotel room drinking and watching videos

      as for my transition ive been getting banned here for a few months hahaha
      go twins ,
      but more importantly go away ryan and gardy
      Can anyone understand this post????
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      The Twins can sign anyone they want by throwing money at them, but even outrageous sums of money do NO GOOD if they player doesn't want to play with a twice last-place team. The second part of any signing equation is that they will be second fiddle to Mauer in this town. The third part is that the Twins are an attraction to guys on the fringe, minor league free agent, players coming off a bad year, et al who see the Twins as an opportunity for playing time. Hell, even Jeff Gray got a potential upside to play somewhere in the bigs in 2013 because of what he showed as a Twin. The Twins either have ti badly overplay a player top get them here, ot still overpay a modest bit but give someone like Torii Hunter a 3-yhear contract. Considering tghey didn't want to give Cuddy a four..........
    1. dwintheiser's Avatar
      dwintheiser -
      I would eagerly read a companion post to this entitled "Could the Twins trade for Alex Rodriguez?"
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Could the Twins sign Grienke? Of course they could, provided he's interested.

      Should the Twins sign Grienke? A better question, IMO, and not any easy one to answer. I'd say yes, but it's about a 55-45 call, as arguments against it certainly have some merit.

      Will the Twins sign Grienke? I'd say the chances are the proverbial one in a million.
    1. one_eyed_jack's Avatar
      one_eyed_jack -
      Part of me would love to see the Twins shock everyone and sign Greinke. Not only would it add the top-notch starter they've been desperately lacking, but it would send the message that they are actually serious about winning. It won't happen. The other part of me is fine with not handing a massive contract to a guy with that many question marks just because he happens to be the best of a week free agent class.

      But it will be interesting to see where he ends up. He turned down 5 years/$100 mil to stay in Milwaukee, so that bridge is probably burned. I'm guessing the Angels want him back and the Rangers and White Sox will probably make him offers, both tried getting him at the deadline.
    1. DBTwinsFan's Avatar
      DBTwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      well for 1 the ass, gm athony something or another got drunk with nishis agent , the twins did there due diligents by watching tapes of nishi then put in a bid(i believe the only 1) on him ...so i would suggest sending someone over there to watch him pitch..
      see what hes got and not sit in your hotel room drinking and watching videos

      as for my transition ive been getting banned here for a few months hahaha
      go twins ,
      but more importantly go away ryan and gardy
      Can anyone understand this post????
      It's been translated from the original Mexican version.......
    1. twinsfaninsaudi's Avatar
      twinsfaninsaudi -
      I need to say to you Twins Daily - I was just registering here and my first attempt was rejected because I answered the question wrong. The question was "What was the name of the Twins before they moved to Minnesota?" - I gave the answer "Senators and Nationals" - a much more correct and accurate answer than just "Senators" - did I give you guys too much credit (I hope not)? Or does this question need to be adjusted so that those who give the BEST answer are not punished?

      http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teams/minn.shtml
    1. by jiminy's Avatar
      by jiminy -
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottyB View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by johnnydakota View Post
      well for 1 the ass, gm athony something or another got drunk with nishis agent , the twins did there due diligents by watching tapes of nishi then put in a bid(i believe the only 1) on him ...so i would suggest sending someone over there to watch him pitch..
      see what hes got and not sit in your hotel room drinking and watching videos

      as for my transition ive been getting banned here for a few months hahaha
      go twins ,
      but more importantly go away ryan and gardy
      Can anyone understand this post????
      Yeah I think he's just saying proceed with caution with Japanese players and scout them better than we did Nishioka.

      I like the idea of gambling on a young flamethrower more than an aging star -- the upside is just as high, without the guaranteed downside of a hundred million dollar contract
    1. Fire Dan Gladden's Avatar
      Fire Dan Gladden -
      I think of all the high-end pitchers to come on the market in the last few years, Grienke would be the one would seem to be the most probable to come here. With his history, his reticence to play in a big market, and with what the Twins need, it seems like a fit.

      That being said, I believe the chances of the Twins actually signing him to a large long-term deal are virtually non-nonexistent. Keeping in mind Willingham is the largest FA contract the Twins have given, quadrupling it for a pitcher with past issues seems unbelievable.
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