Zack Greinke remains in limbo.
Greinke could leave the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent after this season. He could sign a long-term contract extension with the team. He could be traded before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. At this point, all of those outcomes remain possible.
It doesn’t appear there has been much dialogue between the Brewers and representatives for Greinke since spring training. As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no evidence that the team had made the 28-year-old a formal offer. And there isn’t much time left before the deadline for the sides to strike a deal.
Another complication: Greinke will have gone 10 days without pitching by the time he makes his next scheduled start, Tuesday in Philadelphia. Team officials concluded he needed to “(recharge) his batteries” after starting three consecutive games. Greinke will make at most two starts before July 31, the last coming July 29 at home against Washington.
Greinke may ask for as much as $100 million over five years. That would be above recent deals of similar length signed by Carlos Zambrano ($91.5 million) and Jered Weaver ($85 million), which were done without the benefit of free agency. The Brewers may wait until they see Greinke pitch once (or twice) more before deciding whether to commit that much money.
One argument in favor of spending that much on Greinke is that the Brewers are high on a number of the organization’s homegrown starting pitchers: Mike Fiers, Tyler Thornburg, Jed Bradley, and Taylor Jungmann. If enough of them pan out, the Brewers could have multiple low-cost starters for several years to come. That would enable them to carry Greinke’s high salary without sacrificing quality in other areas of the club.
-- Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal