Arizona Diamondbacks-Zack Greinke trade not possible until July, 2017

Aug 1, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks injured pitcher Zack Greinke in the dugout against the Washington Nationals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 1, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks injured pitcher Zack Greinke in the dugout against the Washington Nationals at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Diamondbacks  signed Zack Greinke last winter to the largest contract, in terms of average annual value, in MLB history. 

After the Arizona Diamondbacks outbid their division rivals for six years and $206.5 million, Zack Greinke signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season . The Los Angeles Dodgers own the highest payroll in baseball, and yet their front office was not willing to guarantee Greinke an extra year. That sealed the deal for general manager Dave Stewart to finalize the transaction.

Fast forward to what has transpired this season. The Dodgers have dealt with a ridiculous amount of injuries to their starting rotation. This includes Clayton Kershaw, who has yet to come back to the big league club.

It is safe to say the Dodgers really could have used Greinke for the whole season. That fact will not prevent President of Baseball Operations Andrew Freidman from trying to acquire him now.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported late last night that the Los Angeles Dodgers had contacted Arizona about possibly reacquiring the services of the right-hander before Wednesday’s postseason roster deadline.

"“The discussions were not substantive and did not advance, sources said. The Dodgers, however, could revisit their continuing interest in Greinke this offseason; clearly, they still covet a pitcher who had a 2.30 ERA for them from 2013 to ’15.Greinke, 32, cleared waivers, sources said, making him eligible to be traded to any team. He is owed $172.5 million over the next five seasons, including $3 million installments of his signing bonus on each May 31."

On Thursday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today added to the story.

Stewart responded to Fox Sports report essentially confirming what Nightengale tweeted out.

“Our plan is to hold on to Zack and see what our opportunities and chances are going to be with him,” Stewart said speaking to the Arizona Republic. “Our bullpen did not perform very well for us and so we’ve got to strengthen our bullpen and get it back to where it needs to be. Once we do that, we should be able to figure this thing out.”

There is no question that the Diamondbacks have disappointed this season. Instead of competing for the N.L. West division crown, the club is on pace for 94 losses.

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However, the belief within the organization is that this team can bounce back, and who can blame them for thinking that. This team, the way its constructed, is built to win right now. Paul Goldschmidt is signed through 2019, and Stewart has indicated that he wants to make his star first-basemen a life long Diamondback.

Outfielders A.J. Pollock and David Peralta are also part of that group. Based on WAR, those two were the second and third most valuable players respectively. Pollock missed the first 128 games, and Peralta has been out since May 11. There is no doubt that the majors best defense in 2015 has suffered as a result.

Stewart and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa would certainly say that those shortcomings aren’t an excuse for the under-performance at the top of the rotation.

Despite acquiring Greinke and Shelby Miller, only the Twins 5.58 starters ERA is worse than the Diamondbacks (5.15).

Greinke’s ERA is 4.17 after leading the majors in that category last season, and he missed a month with an oblique injury. Opposing batters are making better contact, but much of his regression was due with his poor numbers at Chase Field (5.13) compared to on the road (3.25).

Miller has spent the majority of the season in the minors, and compiled an ERA over seven runs per nine innings. His issues are considered mechanical, and after an encouraging outing Wednesday afternoon in San Francisco, there is hope that he will rebound.

Left-hander Patrick Corbin has been a great disappointment. The native of Clay, N. Y. was supposed to be a consistent number three starter. Instead, he has a 5.58 ERA (6.31 at home), and demoted to the bullpen. Corbin and Miller combined have zero wins at home this season.

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From an organizational perspective, they can bounce back. The hope remains Miller, Greinke, and Corbin can finish the season strong. The bullpen is the team’s biggest concern. Look for that to be the main focus of attention this coming off-season.