Earlier this week a rumor got started that the Brewers trading for Zack Greinke was IMMINENT. Not only that, but JJ Hardy, Manny Parra, Mat Gamel and Angel Salome were all going to Kansas City in exchange for him! Fox6 reported this on twitter and it was picked up by a few other outlets. I even had one of my good friends call me on the phone and ask me if I had heard we were getting Zack Greinke. My reply? "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." And now, shockingly, it's all gone. There is no trade, it was just a silly internet rumor. Who could have seen that one coming?
Now, on paper this trade sounds great for the Brewers (well, not really because the team would still need someone to replace Parra's production and that's a lot of offense to let go of but let's just roll with this.) The Brewers would acquire the person who should win the 2009 Cy Young award. The player who was the best player at his position in the league last year and he would fill a position that the Brewers sorely need help in. They wouldn't give up a single player of their 2010 Brewers starting lineup and they'd have a great, young pitcher who is locked up for the next few years. The Brewers absolutely nailed this fake trade and we can just go ahead and pencil them in for the 2010 World Series.
Here's the thing though, it takes two teams to make a trade. No matter how bad you think the Kansas City Royals GM is (and trust me, he's bad) he wouldn't do this trade. There isn't a GM on the planet who was do this trade. When you are a terrible team and you have a truly special player, you don't trade him. This isn't the Brewers trading their best player in Richie Sexson, this is Babe Ruth to the Yankees. This is Wayne Gretzky to the Kings. That's the only comparable trades I can come up with. Sure, great players have been traded before but never when they were at their peak. Never when they were the only thing keeping a fanbase interested. If Dayton Moore trades Greinke, he will get destroyed. According to fangraphs value feature he was worth $42.4M this season. His contract? Four years $38M. Theoretically, that's three more seasons of free money. You don't trade that guy. You just don't.
And who is to blame for this story? Some idiot at the Bleacher Report.
I heard rumors today that the Milwaukee Brewers have reached an angreement with the Kansas City Royals to acquire the rights of Zack Greinke and unknown minor leaguers for the rights of JJ Hardy, Manny Parra, Mat Gamel, and Angel Salome.
I looked at every Brewers news source I could think of, but there are no official news or rumors related to this move.
I'm just going to explain how this works for those that don't know. If there is a trade rumor, it should come from someone within the front office. If you've read the book Moneyball you know that from time to time GMs float fake rumors to reporters, just to throw them off the trail but they do float them to reporters. If they have a good relationship with a reporter they might give them a scoop. So, basically for Brewers fans we should only believe trade rumors from the JSOnline or Adam McCalvy. If it comes from some other place and these guys don't comment on it or corroborate the story, it is a lie. If it comes from another city's newspaper they will corroborate it (eventually), but if they don't it is a lie. It's not real. It's fake. Tell whoever told you it to shut up. This includes even media outlets like Fox 6. They don't have a dedicated Brewers guy, so they don't get news. Even our friends at Brew Crew Ball don't have access to this sort of thing (yet.) It's just the way it works. (By the way, this is why I absolutely hate the Journal Sentinel. I don't think these guys do the work to get this sort of thing done considering they can't even get names or numbers right half the time. I can't imagine that Doug Melvin likes them enough to give them first dibs on news.)
Beyond that, let's use a little sense. That is a LOT to give up for one person. There is a reason we don't have Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee right now. Doug Melvin is not willing, and smartly so, to drain the farm system on one player. It's not deep enough right now and while that trade may make us contenders next year, it'd have us in the basement for a long time afterward and that's not what we're trying to do here. The Brewers want to put a consistently good product on the field, always in the mix and it's a lot easier when you don't make that trade.