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MLB.com: Deadline deal for D-backs’ ace Zack Greinke is a long shot

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The MLB trade deadline is baseball’s biggest indicator of which teams are going for it all or rebuilding for the future.

One name that continues to come up amongst all the trade speculation is Arizona Diamondbacks’ ace Zack Greinke, but MLB.com’s Thomas Harrigan writes that it would be a long shot.

There are two major obstacles Arizona would have to overcome in order to send the right-hander elsewhere: his contract and 15-team no-trade list.

Greinke’s remaining contract goes through the 2021 season in which he is owed an average $35 million per year. Any team that acquires Greinke would also have to pay the remainder of his $34.5 million salary for this season unless the D-backs are willing to pay some of it for better assets in return.

His 15-team no-trade list reportedly includes the entire NL West along with the Angels, Athletics, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Orioles, Phillies, Reds, Red Sox, Tigers, Twins and Yankees.

However, Greinke can always waive that clause should he choose.

For the D-backs and general manager Mike Hazen, it’s a tricky spot to be in.

Coming out of the All-Star break, the team sits 13.5 games behind the Dodgers in the division, but only 1.5 games out of the second wild card spot in the National League.

But with eight teams battling for the final two playoff spots, it’s not such a cut and dry decision if the D-backs should be buyers or sellers come the final day of July, especially with the Wildcard Game being just that, only one game.

While striking a deal may be a long shot, there is an argument to trade Greinke, especially if a team makes a desperate last-second offer.

The 35-year-old is coming off of his fifth All-Star selection in six years and third consecutive in Arizona.

In 19 outings this season, Greinke is 10-3 with a 2.73 ERA, 108 strikeouts, and a 0.92 WHIP over 122 innings pitched. Those numbers are good enough to land him tied for the most wins in the National League, as well as being in the NL’s top five in ERA (4th), WHIP (2nd) and innings pitched (3rd).

If the right-hander were to replicate his first-half performance, it would be arguably his best season since he won the Cy Young Award in 2009 and his absolute best as a Diamondback.

But the decision to trade Greinke this season ultimately comes down to whether or not Hazen believes his team is a legitimate playoff contender. Should the general manager deem that Arizona will be a contender while the D-backs’ ace is still under contract, then another deal similar to the Paul Goldschmidt trade this past offseason may be out of the cards.

Coincidentally, Greinke is scheduled to make his first start of the second half on Sunday against the Cardinals in St. Louis.

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