One big thing that the Brewers need now more than ever is retain what they still have left. Zack Greinke and his future factor into what the Brewers’ and their fans have to look forward to, at least pitching wise. Though he doesn’t have an agent to negotiate a possible contract extension with, Greinke has stated “It’d be me in charge as of right now so, we’ll see how long that lasts.”.
Since Greinke was traded to the Brewers from the Royals, he showed in 2011 that he has what it takes to pitch again. Battling an early arm injury in 2011, Greinke finished strong in the rotation with 17 wins. Right now, he’s going into the final year a four-year/$38M extension that he signed back in 2009. On the thoughts of a possible extension with the Brew Crew, Greinke had this to say, “I’ll talk to them about it. I don’t really want to talk to anyone else about it. But I like the business of baseball. It’s exciting for me. It’s not like I plan on being my agent, but it is exciting being able to know what’s going on behind the scenes.” Obviously he shows signs of interest in retaining his position now and I don’t foresee him signing with any other teams, at least now.
Greinke has won the Cy Young before, in 2009, so he’s a very capable pitcher. At the age of 28, he definitely has time to fully mature into a lethal pitcher. Still in the minds of owners are the final settling of arbitration dealings. Not that the Brewers have to worry about that, but looking at some of the players that did file for it, namely Tim Lincecum amd Clayton Kershaw, the Brewers have to wonder what they’ll owe Greinke someday. That said, he must prove himself to be the caliber of pitcher that he was in Kansas City. Sure, you can say that 17 wins is impressive, I’m not saying it isn’t, but you also have to factor in ERA. One of my best examples of this is Phil Hughes‘ 2010 season when he was the second highest winning pitcher in the Yankees’ rotation. Yes, he won 18 games, but at the expense of a 4.19 ERA and of an offense he could fall back on. Without Fielder and Braun (only temporarily), Greinke can’t rely solely on his offense.
Regardless, I think Greinke may stay another year or two before deciding what he truly wants to do. If he does sign with another team, then that’d be a shame. Milwaukee really needs a guy like him to stay. If he doesn’t, then it’s the pitching rotation who ultimately wins here. Either way, I don’t see Greinke leaving Milwaukee this year.