Now that Cliff Lee is off the board, the rest of the pitching pieces should start falling into place. Carl Pavano. Matt Garza. And Zack Greinke. The Zack Greinke trade rumors died down for a little while there as the Royals had reportedly placed too high a price tag on their young ace, but according to Jon Morosi, things may be on the verge of heating back up.
For one thing, Greinke switched his agent on Friday. His representation has changed from SFX to CAA, and he is now represented by Jeff Barry and Casey Close - who recently became well-known for being Derek Jeter's agent. CAA took care of Roy Halladay a year ago when he was traded from the Blue Jays to the Phillies.
More significantly, though, there's this:
...a high-ranking executive from another team told FOXSports.com, “He really wants out of K.C.” Separate major-league sources confirmed that Greinke has unequivocally asked the Royals to be traded.
Greinke has been with the Royals for his entire career and he's never seen a winning season. The losing has eaten at him, and he's now apparently grown sufficiently frustrated to ask his way out. And while he has a no-trade clause that allows him to block a deal to 15 teams, it's likely that he would waive it for the chance to play somewhere else.
Greinke is due to earn $13.5 million in 2011 and $13.5 million in 2012 before becoming a free agent. After winning the AL Cy Young in 2009, his ERA shot up to 4.17 this past season, but many believe that his numbers would bounce back on a more competitive ballclub. Look for the Rangers and Nationals to become heavily involved in discussions with Kansas City as trade talks heat up for the hard-throwing ace. While the Royals have asked for the moon in return, it's possible that they could lower their demands to accommodate Greinke's alleged request.