Buster Olney says that the Royals were telling teams before the trade deadline that they’d listen to offers for the frustrated Zack Greinke. Obviously any offer for him would have to have been out-of-this-world, but their ears were on. Olney thinks that their ears may be even more on come this winter.
If the Royals’ assessment of when their bevy of prospects will be ready matches Greinke’s pessimistic take from yesterday — 2014 — they may well be wise to shop him. He’ll still be under control for two years and will still be an elite pitcher, and those sorts of commodities don’t come on the market that often. A smart trade of Zack Greinke — which is no given in light of the man doing the trading in Kansas City — could be the closest thing to a Herschel Walker deal we’ll ever see in baseball. It could really set the Royals up for the future.
If the Royals are more optimistic, however, and think that some of that top talent will debut next year and play all season in 2012, well, then it may be worth keeping Greinke around for a run that year or, more realistically, for a nice hope-building season that may convince him to stick around after his deal is up.
Either way, you can expect Dayton Moore to get a bunch of inquiries on the guy because, really, who wouldn’t want him?
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.