As first reported earlier today by Jon Heyman, the Arizona Diamondbacks appear determined to sell some movable pieces on the current roster. Entering Friday night’s games, Arizona currently sits at 49-48 and are only 1.5 games back from the second wild-card spot while owning a solid +68 run differential. While they are seemingly right in the hunt, management must believe that a 14-game deficit to the N.L. West-leading Dodgers and battling in a highly competitive wild card race that currently has nine teams within reach is too much to overcome. Especially after dealing stud first baseman Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals this offseason, selling some pieces to gear up for future seasons seems to be the right move. Arizona has some serviceable veterans on expiring deals such as Adam Jones, Jarrod Dyson, and Greg Holland. They also have a few controllable starting pitchers in Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke that appear to be on the market. Teams could be wary to bring on Greinke and his expensive contract, but for the right price, the D’Backs now seem more willing to eat some of his salary.
With this in mind, the White Sox should consider discussing a possible trade with the D’Backs. The front office has clamored about having piles of money, and now would be a very opportune time to flash it with a lower amount of high-level free agents available this offseason as opposed to last. According to Spotrac, the White Sox have the lowest committed payroll for the 2020 season in the MLB, currently a tick less than $29 million. With this in mind, the White Sox can certainly afford the remaining two years of Greinke’s contract while not needing to be too cheap about filling other holes on the roster. With this financial flexibility, the White Sox could be one of the more marketable teams for Arizona to make a deal with as they could offer a package that would include Arizona eating less money than other teams might. This also might allow the White Sox to not give up as many prospects for a deal to be done, certainly not including highly-rated prospects like Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal, and recently drafted Andrew Vaughn. Greinke’s no-trade list also includes a handful of contenders that would seemingly be inquiring about him, including the Red Sox, Dodgers, Twins, Yankees, Athletics, Phillies, Padres, Cardinals, and Rockies. The White Sox, however, are not on this no-trade list, which would allow a deal that both teams agreed on to go through.
Greinke is the exact type of starting pitcher that this team needs moving into the next few seasons where playoff contention is not only likely, but expected. Every contending team needs a veteran ace to be the anchor to its pitching staff. The Cubs have Jon Lester, Houston has Justin Verlander, and the Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw. Greinke fits the mold of the same category that these arms belong to. He is a reliable, veteran arm that will more likely than not give whichever team he’s on 200+ innings pitched. Even at age 35, he is still putting together a great season in the desert, earning his fifth All-Star appearance over the past six seasons while owning a 10-4 record, 2.95 ERA, and 0.945 WHIP. With no signs of slowing down just yet, his playoff experience and veteran presence are exactly what this young group of starting pitchers need. Add him to the mix with Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, and Michael Kopech among others, and Greinke is the perfect go-to leader for this team.
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