Another morning of haphazard thoughts following a series victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park.
The Brewers’ most recent wins against the Diamondbacks have delayed the Brewers from opening their doors for the trading season, but the remainder of Major League Baseball seems to understand that Mark Attanasio and Doug Melvin will eventually pull the trigger and place some of their trading chips on the market. By my count, the Rangers, Yankees, Orioles, Braves, and Dodgers have all been connected — albeit loosely — to having interest in trading for Zack Greinke.
With the Phillies officially placing Cole Hamels on the trading block and the Cubs assuredly fielding calls for Matt Garza, the Brewers do not want to be too late to the party and miss the bidding war. Hypothetically, though, the Brewers could also wait out the market and leverage Greinke as the only impact starter available nearer to the deadline.
If the organization does decide to move Greinke, do not be surprised if the team targets big league talent in return. Ken Rosenthal notes that the Brewers would like to return to contention quickly. As discussed in previous articles, Mark Attanasio does not want to lose the business momentum he has gained in Milwaukee by “rebuilding” and losing ticket sales.
The international signing period began early this morning, buoyed by the new financial budgets within which every organization will have to operate. This season, teams cannot spend more than $2.9 million without becoming subject to financial penalties.
Do not expect the new regulations to cause the Brewers to do anything significantly different in the international market. The Brewers have spent roughly $1.5 million in each of the past two seasons. Just because an artificial budget has been implemented does not mean the Brewers have to spend up to that amount.
Business as usual in Latin America for the Crew.
One of the most highly-regarded international signings made by the Brewers in recent years was 16-year-old outfielder Jose Pena in 2009. The organization gave him a $400,000 signing bonus, which was one of the highest in team history, at the time.
After a couple of forgettable seasons in the Dominican Summer League, Pena has absolutely crushed the ball for the Arizona League Brewers in his first handful of games. Of his 12 hits, nine have gone for extra bases — six doubles, one triple, and two home runs. He was lauded for his raw power when the Brewers signed him back in 2009, but this is the first time his power has been seen in game action. Of course, it’s only nine games. The early results, however, are extremely encouraging because it serves as evidence that the power can play in game action.
At only 19-years-old, the organization may have a sleeper power hitter in the depths of their farm system.
I’m not one to criticize All-Star selections too much, as I believe the selections are incredibly subjective and ultimately ceremonial, but the fact that Zack Greinke will not represent the Milwaukee Brewers and the National League in Kansas City is ridiculous. The right-hander has the highest WAR (+3.6) of any National League pitcher and has the lowest FIP (2.21) of any qualified starting pitcher in all of baseball. All of that, and no selection.
For the less sabermetrically inclined, Greinke is 9-2 with a 2.82 ERA and has not lost a game at Miller Park all season. He has been a legitimate stopper for the Brewers this year, halting losing streaks and providing much-needed innings to save the bullpen from being overworked.
He may not have the All-Star demarcation adjacent to his name on Baseball-Reference, but Zack Greinke is one of the five-best pitchers in the National League this season. Hands down.