Imagine this rotation: Zach Greinke, Kris Medlen, Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm and Mike Minor. Greinke is the top starting pitcher in this years’ free agent class. Could the Braves bring Greinke to Atlanta to form what could be one of the top rotations in baseball?
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
The Braves were linked to Greinke at the trading deadline last year so they did have an interest. John Schuerholz was asked at the Winter Meetings if the Braves still had an interest in bringing Greinke to the Braves. The Braves President took a long time in answering before saying it is something Frank Wren is looking into but is not at the top of his list. What does that mean? The Braves do have an interest if Greinke will come down on his asking price. The Braves would have to get creative financially because they still have to spend money on a third baseman/left fielder and have to add players to their bench, but they could make it work.
Greinke does have mutual interest in signing with the Braves. He could just name his price to play for the Dodgers or even break the bank with the Rangers so what would be his interest in signing with the Braves instead? The Braves are the closest team to his Florida home and he would be pitching in a smaller media market as he has in Kansas City and Milwaukee where he has thrived over his career. Now Greinke would have to take less to play for the Braves but where he feels comfortable pitching is a bigger issue than the money he signs for because he is going to paid a lot of money regardless of where he signs.
The Braves already potentially have a solid rotation and should have Brandon Beachy coming back around the All Star break but adding Greinke could vault their rotation to one of, if not the best in baseball. However, there are at least some question marks with every one of the Braves starters heading into the season. As good as Kris Medlen was at the end of last season can he pitch as well over a full season? Can Tim Hudson stay healthy, as he has spent time on the disabled list over the last few seasons. With Brandon Beachy’s injury you do not know how long it will take for him to come back or if he will have any setbacks. Even though he pitched well last season for the Braves and Cubs Paul Maholm has been an average pitcher for the most part over his career and which Mike Minor will the Braves get this season the terrible first half or the solid second half Minor? With the addition of Zack Greinke the Braves would fill their need for a power starting pitcher and top of the rotation starter that will strikeout a lot of batters as he has an averaged over eight strikeouts per nine innings pitched over his career. There are not many number one starters in baseball but if the Braves can make it work and sign Zack Greinke that would be a big addition to an already solid Braves team that is looking to go further in the postseason.