Washington Nationals Talked Zack Greinke With Kansas City Royals According To MASN's Phil Wood.

In discussing potential replacements for Nats' first baseman Adam Dunn should he sign elsewhere this winter, MLB.com's Bill Ladson warned in an early October article entitled, "If Dunn doesn't return, Nats have options", that though there were some trade options out there for the Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo to pursue, there was, "One problem: whenever a trade is involved, look for opposing teams to ask for shortstop Ian Desmond or right-hander Jordan Zimmermann." MASNSports.com's Phil Wood confirmed as much yesterday in a report on the Nats' interest in Kansas City Royals' right-hander and former Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke...

In an article entitled, "Zacking up the rotation, MASNSports.com's Phil Wood writes that "someone privy to the situation" has informed him that, "...there indeed have been preliminary discussions between the Nationals and the Royals regarding righthander Zack Greinke." The problem, as Mr. Ladson or anyone who considered the situation could have predicted, is, as Mr. Wood writes, that the, "K.C. GM Dayton Moore...believes that any Nationals' package would have to begin with either pitcher Jordan Zimmermann or shortstop Ian Desmond." 

Any discussion of trading for Greinke at this point is premature of course, considering the fact that the '02 1st Round pick has a clause in his contract which allows him to block trades to 15 of the 30 MLB teams. The right-hander has also expressed frustration with the fact that the Royals aren't likely to contend any time soon, what are the chances that he has a more positive view of the Nationals' chances of competing in the near future, especially considering that Nats' Skipper Jim Riggleman is on record saying the Nats are at least another year away from competing. By the time the mid-2012 date Mr. Riggleman has mentioned as a target for the Nats to start to "make their move" comes around, Mr. Greinke would be halfway through the final year of his current 4-year/$38M dollar deal which will pay the starter $13.5M over the next two seasons. You'd assume that the Nats would want to sign Greinke to an extension should they be willing to give up an Ian Desmond or Jordan Zimmermann in a deal to get themselves a no.1 starter, but any talk of that nature is getting way ahead of ourselves...

In an interview with Sirius/XM's MLB Network Radio hosts Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on "Inside Pitch" Monday afternoon, Royals' Skipper Ned Yost discussed the possibility of Kansas City dealing Greinke, and essentially challenged any teams interested in the starter to bring their best offer to the table:

Ned Yost: "Zack [Greinke] is for me one of the top pitchers in all of baseball and he's like Tim Lincecum, he's got pitches he can put you away with. He's got a put-away slider. His fastball runs up anywhere from 92-to-97 mph, he has a put-away changeup and is as intelligent a pitcher [as] I've ever seen, [and] as prepared as anybody that I've ever seen step on the mound for the opposition that given night. Going into this offseason, I think our staff felt we would be willing to listen, we're not shopping anyone, but we'd be willing to listen on anybody that we had on our staff, and I think that's a smart move. When you're in a position that we are, where we are battling to get back to prominence in the American League and we have the young talent that's going to get us there in the next two, three or four years, it's smart to listen if it improves your organization and [Royals' GM] Dayton [Moore] is one of the...you know, I have the utmost respect for Doug Melvin [GM] in Milwaukee and I think Dayton's a lot like him, he's a very sharp evaluator of talent, he knows how to put a roster together, he knows how to build a farm system and I think it's smart to be able to listen to whatever anybody has to say in terms of your players. If they want to come get'em, come get'em, if the offer overwhelms us, well then it's something we're definitely going to have to think about, but we're not actively shopping anybody, but if someone comes calling we will surely listen."

The Nationals should be looking at Cliff Lee, they should be considering Carl Crawford and inquiring about the availability of Greinke and others, but that doesn't mean the deals make sense for the Nats right now. Even though Greinke's relatively young at 27-years-old, does trading a 24-year-old Jordan Zimmermann or a 25-year-old Ian Desmond make sense for a team that believes they're a year or two away from competing? I'm not sure it does, but D.C. GM Mike Rizzo wants to add a starter and he's on record saying he thinks the Nats have the prospects to get a deal done. The GM Meetings start today in Orlando, Florida, it's time to start laying the groundwork for future deals... 

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