The Braves have been hanging around in the N.L East all season long. They’ve never been able to run away with a big division lead and they have never fallen so far off the pace that people felt they were out of it. To me this shows that the team is on the brink of some real success.
So with that being said let’s examine the trade dead line that is now less then a month away. Frank Wren needs to make THIS move. He needs to bring Zack Greinke to Atlanta. This move actually has the potential to suit both sides very well and I believe the Braves can pull this off.
Why Zack Greinke?
Well let’s start with the stats. He’s 8-2 with a 2.81 era. This guy can be a legit ace on most staffs in baseball and the Braves are no exception. Bringing in a guy like Zack Greinke can change the entire face of your rotation. Tim Hudson can become the #2, Hanson #3 and Jurrjens #4. When you knock each guy down a peg it only glorifies them and takes pressure of them each time they take the mound.
Hudson would no longer have to be the “soul” ace of this staff and he could settle into a #2 role knowing now that he can go out and pitch without any added pressure. Hanson bumps down to #3 which makes him a very good middle of the rotation pitcher. And Jurrjens can settle into the 4th spot with the 5th once being open to the best available option at the time which is basically true of most #5’s in any rotation.
The Braves certainly do not want to “rent” Zack Greinke and I firmly stand behind them on that. The Giants gave up a top pitching prospect to “rent” and injured Carlos Beltran for the last 2 months of that season. The team didn’t make the playoffs and it proved to be a horrible trade. The Braves should have more then enough money to lock down Greinke for a long term deal. They got Derek Lowe’s contract off the books and Chipper’s sadly will be next. Still it leaves the team with some financial flexibility.
The National League lacks a “dominant” team. In years past the Phillies have jumped out as a clear cut favorite to come out of the National League. Granted they often failed to meet expectations, the perception was still there. This year I don’t see a team in the N.L that we couldn’t beat. However to experience true success in the post season you need an ace and I believe Zack Greinke could be that guy.
Now for the technicalities
How would this deal get done? And how would Greinke feel about being a Brave?
The Brewers have made mention that they would really like to receive a Short Stop in any deal for Greinke. With Simmons just being called up and appearing to be able to fill the Short Stop roll in a full time fashion for years to come, we now can make Tyler Pastornicky available. Tyler struggled in his brief stint in the Majors but at the same time he is big league ready. He’s not a 2 or 3 year minor league project. He could step in and fill a void for a team. He is also capable of playing 2nd base which gives him a little versatility.
To sweeten the deal the Braves could throw in Mike Minor or Randall Delgado. This would give the Brewers a strong pitching prospect that again would be big league ready and a short stop.
The Brewers are at a critical point in their franchise. They owed it to themselves to see how they could perform without Prince Fielder. And unfortunately thus far it hasn’t worked out. They’re sitting in 4th place in the N.L Central barely a head of 2 of the worst teams in baseball, the Cubs and Astros. They’re well below .500 and don’t appear to be a legit contender in that division in any way. Is this an opportunity for them to gather some rebuilding blocks in exchange for their ace pitcher? Again the players they’d be getting from Atlanta would be big league ready and could join Braun and the major league team right away.
Zack Greinke suffers from social anxiety. Playing in a big league market like New York, Boston or even Texas could prove to be too much for him. Where as Atlanta could provide him with a perfect balance. A winning organization without the crazy media circus that surrounds other cities. I think playing for the Braves would fit perfectly for him.
Another point of interest is that Zack Greinke grew up a fan of the Braves. That may score us some bonus points in terms of him wanting to come to Atlanta and sign a long term deal.
By: Bob McVinua