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Former Royals Ace Zack Greinke Could Aim For Nine-Figure Deal In 2012

Passan says that Greinke's first year in the NL went like the Brewers hoped and given that only a handful of pitchers of his caliber may be available -- names like Cole Hamels or Matt Cain -- Greinke should plan on getting very rich.

As Jeff Passan begins to look ahead one year in his regular column over at Yahoo! Sports, a familiar name surfaces who could actually provide just what the Kansas City Royals need: an ace starting pitcher. However, it might come at a price previously unheard of. Passan says that Greinke's first year in the NL went like the Brewers hoped and given that only a handful of pitchers of his caliber may be available -- names like Cole Hamels or Matt Cain -- Greinke should plan on getting very rich.

Passan writes, "Cain may join Zack Greinke among those vying for a nine-figure deal next year as well. At his best, Greinke is more than worth it: His strikeout rate led the National League last season, his walk rate remained superb and only a few home runs stood between him and a season similar to his 2009 Cy Young campaign, one of the best in decades.

"Now, will the big spenders – the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and others – consider Greinke worth the money? Even if he thrives with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012, it’s no certainty. As misguided as is the connection between Greinke’s social anxiety disorder and his playoff failure, baseball loves to make it, and some will hold that against him. It’s bogus, and savvy executives will realize that in the offseason."