Zack Greinke is the face of the Kansas City Royals. After struggling early in his career, Greinke won the Cy Young award in 2009 with a 2.16 ERA -- the lowest the American League had seen from a starting pitcher in nearly a decade.
Yet again, though, it's July and the Royals find themselves out of contention with a sub-.450 record. There was some talk that the team would try to jettison outfielder David DeJesus before the trade deadline, but with DeJesus out for the season with a thumb injury, it appears that the Royals are open to the possibility of trading away their ace.
The 26-year-old Greinke has thrown 133 innings for a 3.59 ERA and a 1.143 WHIP so far this season. The terms of his contract dictate that he will be paid $13.5 million in 2011 -- nearly $6 million more than he's being paid in 2010 -- so if the Royals are going to deal away Greinke, they may have added incentive to do so now.