My colleague here at SB Nation Kansas City, Matt Conner, wrote on Monday that the Royals "absolutely should trade Zack Greinke."
I couldn't disagree more.
Trading Greinke would not be a very smart move for the Royals.
The Royals, you see, are not a very good team. They're what some might call a bad team. Greinke is far and away their best player. Bad teams stay bad by dumping their best players.
Greinke recently expressed his frustration with another phase of rebuilding for the Royals (even though Ned Yost says they're not rebuilding).
"The biggest problem is," Greinke told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, "I have two more years on my contract. Are those guys supposed to make it up by the beginning of next year?"
In most situations the player could kind of hold the club hostage. Greinke can wait out 2012 -- right around the time when the Royals recognize they'll hopefully be contending -- and then walk during free agency. That or he can refuse to sign a new contract giving the Royals almost no chance but to trade him.
However Greinke is not a normal case.
He's more valuable to Kansas City than any other city because he can handle playing here. Greinke took time off of baseball in the last few years because of, among other things, an anxiety issue that's likely exasperated with 20 cameras in his face and folks requesting his time.
If Kansas City became a problem for him at one point, then there's no way I can see Greinke playing in a city like New York, Chicago, Boston or many of the other cities that are larger than Kansas City.
Maybe it's not fair because I don't know the guy but Greinke doesn't seem like a guy who's interested in giving more media interviews and dealing with more attention. It's like you have to tip toe around him because he can say something so off-the-wall. Again, that's not a knock on the guy. I'm just going off of his long body of work of saying some pretty weird, seemingly meaningless things. Those types of wacky things Greinke says can be controlled in Kansas City.
How would he fair in a bigger town with competing newspapers writing more and more about him?
The Royals shouldn't trade Greinke because they're a match made in heaven. Greinke doesn't seem to be concerned about money so I think the Royals could retain him from a financial perspective. And that's the end goal here -- to keep him. The people you hear calling for the Royals to trade Greinke don't think they can re-sign him so they're advocating the next best thing -- trading him.
At some point, Greinke will realize that his best chance of succeeding will come in Kansas City and he'll be open to a new deal with the Royals, losing or not. There's no reason to panic yet.
GM Dayton Moore has been described as more of a scout than anything. That's where his background lies. When you're a GM, another aspect is added to your duties -- retaining good players. It's not just about discovering minor leaguers.
The Royals have a good player in Greinke and Moore could make a powerful statement by giving Greinke a big contract and showing you can get paid in Kansas City.