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Zack Greinke Trade: Why Did The Royals Make The Move Now?

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The Royals traded pitcher Zack Greinke to the Brewers over the weekend. Why did they make the deal now?

The last four AL Cy Young award winners have been traded within 15 months of winning the award so in that context it's no surprise the Kansas City Royals traded Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers. Truthfully, though, the Royals had to trade Greinke and the entire industry knew it. The Royals didn't trade him during the MLB Winter Meetings instead deciding to wait a couple of weeks before making the deal with the Brewers.

The word on a Greinke trade was that the Royals were asking for a ridiculous amount in return and teams were thought to be waiting them out until the price comes down. That's what we all thought and that's what I thought when I first saw this news come across the wire.

So why did the Royals make the move now? Why the middle of December, a few weeks after the MLB Winter Meetings and the same week as the Cliff Lee deal?

That's the part I can't figure out. I'm not saying it's necessarily good or bad to have made the trade now but I just don't get it. If the Royals had waited a little longer -- maybe into February or March -- then I wonder if teams would have gotten mor desperate as the season got closer and become more willing to match the Royals high offer.

Right now, all MLB teams are thinking with a clear head. The season is still a few months away and teams have time to figure out what they're going to look like heading into the season. If the Royals had waited a little longer, then perhaps other teams (read: Yankees) wouldn't have a clear head instead getting desperate or antsy as the season got closer thinking of what a player like Greinke could do for them.

Or maybe the Royals set their price so high, gathered the best offers, and this one was the best fit. Moore said following the trade that there were only a few teams that could give them what they wanted for Greinke. That suggests the market wasn't as big for Greinke as maybe we thought it was.

I'm not saying the trade was good or bad. I'm just having trouble figuring out the strategy behind the timing of it all.