What is Greinke Going to Cost the Brewers?


Every Brewers fan knows that the big news of the day was Prince Fielder signing an absurd deal with the Detroit Tigers.  Rumored to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $214 M for 9 years.  That breaks down to about $750K per pound.  That is all you Detroit.  Tebow knows that city deserves never ending reasons to cheer.  I wish Prince nothing but the best and want him to know that I will always be grateful for bringing this team back to relevancy.  There is no doubt in my mind that if he stays healthy, he will be one of the greatest ballplayers of all-time.  Good Luck Buddy.  Walter is going to miss you most of all.

That should be the big signing news today, but it was not the one on my mind at work all afternoon.

The signing I want to talk about today is that of Tim Lincecum.

For those of you who do not know who Tim Lincecum is…I am not sure what to say to you.  He is one of the best pitchers in baseball today.  Here is a quick list of his accomplishments:
4 time All-Star
2 time Cy Young Winner
3 time NL Strikeout Leader
Hank Aaron Award Winner(2010)
World Series Champion (2010)
To say that Lincecum is good, would be a slap in his face.  The guys nickname is “The Freak”.  It is not because of his horrible taste in hairstyles.  If you acer for my opinion, Lincecum is THE pitcher in major league baseball.  All of those East Coast guys can have Sabathia, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay.  I would take Lincecum every single time.  In fact, the one and only season I played fantasy baseball Lincecum was my 1st pick.   

Today Mr. Lincecum signed a huge 2 year contract, worth a little over $40 million dollars.  That signing shook me a little bit.  Tim Lincecum is better than Zack Greinke.  I had to keep reminding myself that  Tim Lincecum was not a free agent, he just signed a deal to avoid any more arbitration years.  On the open market, Lincecum would probably be a Yankee and making more than any player in baseball.  Zack Greinke may not have that kind of instant guarantee, but he will be sought after.  Mark my words, he will be desired.  What kind of money is he going to be looking for do you suppose? 
In order to get a better idea of what Zack might be looking for, I dove into some of the top free-agent pitchers in recent seasons.  The list is long and not promising for a franchise like the Brewers.  These are some gentlemen who share similarities with Greinke (i.e Cy Young, strikeout pitcher, where his age when they signed current deal).  Here are their 2013 salaries, in no particular order:

CC Sabathia-$23M , Johan Santana-$25.5M , Roy Halladay-$20M , John Lackey-$15.2M , Josh Beckett-$15.75 , Jake Peavy-$22M, and AJ Burnett-$16.5

Since I have no math skills, let’s just kind of meet in the middle and say $18-$20 M.  That is a lot of money for the Brewers.  It is the type of deal that could handcuff the team from keeping other key pieces down the road.  Let us  not forget that Ramirez, Braun, Weeks, Hart and Gallardo will be receiving raises in 2013.     
There is just no way that the Brewers will be able to afford Greinke at those prices.  Sadly there will always be Yankees, and Red Sox, and Tigers….oh my.  The only hope this team has is to get something done before the season starts.  If they wait until Zack takes the mound, we are as good as Princed…again.  But by jumping the gun and getting him to sign a reasonable contract, maybe $16 M with incentives, you save money and retain a Cy Young pitcher that you desperately need. 

We need to also keep in mind that Greinke does not have an agent right now.  That makes it all the more important to get contract talks going while you can deal with the man directly.  Zack fits in Milwaukee.  It is a small market, low key city where he can excel, without drawing too much national attention to himself.  Get him in a room with some numbers and see if you can’t knock that baby out before it is too late.

Now that Prince is gone, Greinke needs to be the number one focus of Brewers management.  Let’s get it done Doug and Mark.  Not later, not after breakfast, now.  Gallardo and Greinke is the one-two punch that will carry the team through the rest of this decade.  Got to have it guys.  Make Brew Crew Nation proud.