ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Nightengale: Teams watching D-backs’ Zack Greinke with trade in mind

May 23, 2019, 7:53 AM | Updated: 10:24 am
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke works against a San Diego Padres batter during t...
Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The longer Zack Greinke remains an Arizona Diamondback, the more likely the team will be able to unload his massive contract.

Since the day he signed with Arizona before the 2016 season, that’s been the narrative cropping up anytime the D-backs find themselves in a telling slump.

Fifty games into 2019 and with the Diamondbacks sitting at .500, the Greinke trade possibilities are back on the radar.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale listed the ace as one of the 10 players who could be moved by the July 31 trade deadline, and it’s Greinke’s contract that always must begin the conversation about a potential deal.

The biggest detriment is his contract. He’s in the final three years of his original six-year, $206 million deal, paying him $31.5 million this year, $32 million in 2020 and $32 million in 2021. The remaining contract is deferred by $32.5 million, but still, there are few teams willing to swallow the contract in its entirety, much less provide prized prospects to go along with the huge paycheck.

Yet, the Diamondbacks and general manager Mike Hazen could find a Greinke trade more in the realm of possibility than ever.

He’s now over the hump of the six-year, $206.5 million deal offered by the former front office guard led by Tony La Russa. By the way, Greinke is still productive as ever.

Teams are paying attention to him, Nightengale said. And because the Diamondbacks look like sellers as they continue their competitive reset, that is why Nightengale included Greinke on his list of potential trade candidates.

“The Phillies have room to spare in that payroll,” Nightengale told Doug & Wolf Thursday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “They were there specifically to watch Greinke in his last start. The Yankees are around, so teams are watching right now.

“It’s the case too where the more the Diamondbacks buy down that contract, the better the prospects there can be. If they’re willing to eat more of that thing, there’s more in return.”

Greinke, who will turn 36 years old in October, has a 2.89 ERA, 6-2 record and 0.87 WHIP so far this year.

After allowing seven earned runs on Opening Day through 3.2 innings, he’s gone at least 6.0 innings in 10 straight starts and more than 7.0 frames in six of those 10 games.

“When I’m watching him now, I almost think I’m watching (Greg) Maddux,” Nightengale said. “He’s so smart of a pitcher, so competitive just like Maddux, great athlete. This guy could play some different positions in the field if he wanted to. He doesn’t have that same fastball anymore but gets in guys’ minds and knows how to throw strikes.

“I think he’s still an elite pitcher.”

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks' Sergio Alcantara (43) and Geraldo Perdomo, middle, celebrate after scoring ag...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks rally to beat Pirates, make up for odd defensive blunder

The Arizona Diamondbacks' seven runs in the seventh inning picked up starter Merrill Kelly after he was positioned for an undeserved loss.
23 hours ago
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...
Associated Press

‘Field of Dreams’ game Thursday sees Cubs, Reds clash

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Daulton Varsho leaps in vain for a triple hit by Pittsburgh Pira...
Kellan Olson

Bizarre double play, replay review costs Diamondbacks in loss to Pirates

The D-backs loaded the bases with nobody out down 6-3 in the ninth inning against the Pirates before one of the strangest plays of the year.
23 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
2 days ago
Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Pittsburgh Pi...
Kellan Olson

D-backs starting pitching stays hot, Henry’s first W takes down Pirates

Diamondbacks rookie Tommy Henry continued the strong run of form from the team's starting pitching lately in a win over the Pirates.
3 days ago
Pittsburgh Pirates' Rodolfo Castro, left, watches along with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Bar...
Haboob Blog

Pirates’ Rodolfo Castro loses phone while sliding into 3rd base at Chase Field

Now here's something you don't see very often on the diamond: a cell phone popping out of a players back pocket mid-game.
3 days ago
Nightengale: Teams watching D-backs’ Zack Greinke with trade in mind