Even with Buddy Carlyle showing the makings of a fine back of the rotation starter, I can't help but assume that John Schuerholz will continue to scour the trade market for starting pitching. Not only do you have to look at what teams match up as trading partners, but which GM's have a history of good working relationships. That brings us the the Royals and Zack Greinke. The Royals and John Schuerholz have a great relationship, not only because Schuerholz was there for the last success the organization saw, but Kansas City GM Dayton Moore spent years in Atlanta as the Braves GM's understudy. In the short time since Moore took over the reigns of the Royals, the two teams have already gotten together on a small deal that brought Tony Pena Jr., now a fan favorite, to the Royals.
Zack Greinke is an anomaly to Royals fans that I have talked to. Not many times have we seen such a supremely gifted pitcher without any health problems that just cannot find success consistently in the majors. Greinke combines excellent control with great stuff, but after an impressive rookie season, Greinke posted an ERA of 5.80 his second season and after missing most of 2006 due to a plethora of mental and performance issues, again was disappointing after starting the season in the Royals rotation this year. Just recently, he was moved to the bullpen where he has again been quite inconsistent. Some days he gives up three runs in less than an inning and then the next day he comes back and strikes out five over two scoreless innings. Why? If you break it down even more, he has a BABIP of .360 (normal is .300) which can be attributed to bad luck and only one really solid defender behind him in the infield.
I have all the confidence in the world that a change of scenery and Roger McDowell could turn him into a capable fourth starter or better. Now what would it take? No one is really sure what the opinion of Greinke is within the organization, but it would certainly take some talent to pull the 23-year old starter away. The Royals need help in the outfield and at second so guys like Brandon Jones or Martin Prado (What a DP combo that would be) could draw some interest as well as a pitcher like Jo-Jo Reyes. Is Schuerholz interested or does he have enough confidence in Greinke to offer a package of Jo-Jo Reyes and Martin Prado? Time will tell.