Toward the end of D.C. GM Mike Rizzo's interview with former Nats' GM Jim Bowden and Casey Stern during MLB Network Radio's 30 Teams in 30 Days Spring Training Tour stop in Viera, Florida's Space Coast Stadium this afternoon, Mr. Bowden asked the Nationals' General Manager if the Nats did in fact have a deal for Zack Greinke done when the Nationals and Kansas City Royals discussed a trade for the former Cy Young award-winner this past Winter. "We were allowed to have conversations with Zack Greinke," Mr. Rizzo said:
Mike Rizzo: "It was mostly about waiving his no-trade clause. That was what the conversation was about. And in the conversation we mapped out the plan that we had with Washington. We had a great conversation with him. We brought in not only myself, but ownership. We have two people in our organization who are very close to Zack in [Special Asst. to the GM] Deric Ladnier* and [Special Asst. to the GM] Bob Schaefer*, who Deric drafted Zack and Bob was in Kansas City for a long time. That's about where things ended with Zack because he didn't waive the no-trade to allow us to make a deal for him. But he's a great young man. We would love to have him anchoring the top of our rotation and we wish him well until we play him."
(ed. note - " * = Mr. Ladnier was the Senior Director of Scouting with the Royals til current GM Dayton Moore dismissed him. Schaefer, who was hired after spending time on Joe Torre's bench in LA for three seasons, "twice skippered Kansas City in an interim capacity (1991, 2005)," as the Nationals noted in a press release announcing his signing last November.)
Washington Post writer Dave Sheinin wrote earlier this week, in an article entitled, "Desire to win now kept Greinke from joining Nationals", that the Nationals had made Greinke, "an offer of a $100 million contract extension," which the 27-year-old effectively turned down by refusing to waive his no-trade clause so the Nats and Royals could work out a deal. "'Not saying [the Nationals] don’t have a chance, but I was trying to get to a team that was looking really good at the moment," Greinke told the WaPost writer, "'And I believe [the Nationals] will be good eventually.'"
Greinke talked about meeting with the members of the Nationals' Front Office, explaining that, "'What got us talking seriously was the fact their owner wants to win really, really bad." The right-hander said that he knew the Nats were serious about building a contender, but he didn't think it made sense as a destination right now:
"'... if I’m going to go there, I didn ’t really want them to trade away the players they were going to build around. That hurts their team.'"
Asked if he'd consider Washington as a destination once his current deal expires, Greinke told the Washington Post's Mr. Sheinin that it might be a possibility:
"'Maybe it works out better that the deal [with Washington] didn’t go through,' Greinke said. 'In two years I might be a free agent, and then they get to keep the players [who would have been] in the trade. And some of those guys could end up being key players for them...'"
Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Zack Greinke? A lot of things would have to come together for it to happen, but at least Nats fans can dream about the not-too-distant future and the possibilities that exist...