The Royals are actively shopping Zack Greinke, as noted on the first day of the Winter Meetings, and Greinke has agreed to waive his no-trade clause in a prospective deal. But, of course, all of this was academic as far as the Cubs were concerned, because surely they weren’t looking at Greinke. I mean, he’s under reasonable control for two more years ($13.5 million each year), but even that’s out of the Cubs’ range this year. Right?
Er, maybe not. The Cubs have called the Royals about Greinke according to Jon Heyman and I’ve heard that, although talks haven’t gotten that far yet, the Cubs do have players that intrigue the Royals.
Greinke, 27, is just one year removed from an all-universe season in 2009, when he won the AL Cy Young. His 2010 was a bit of a letdown (4.17 ERA in 220 innings (but a nice 1.245 WHIP)), but most expect him to return to something in between the two in 2011.
Between Greinke and Matt Garza, the Cubs are now connected to two legitimately exciting young pitchers. Both are remote possibilities, to be sure, but it’s certainly more exciting than being connected to Aaron Harang or Vicente Padilla.