Heyman: Execs believe Zack Greinke will “probably” be traded

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The Royals may be more motivated to trade Zack Greinke than we first realized.

According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, execs believe that the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner will “probably” be traded, while he throws the Rangers out there as one interested team. Presumably, trade talks would heat up if Cliff Lee ended up with the Yankees.

And here’s what one American League executive told Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

The Royals, in the words of the executive, are “spooked” by what happened to David DeJesus . They had a deal worked out with the Rays as the trade deadline approached last season, but on July 23, DeJesus tore tendons in his right thumb and the deal had to be scratched. “They can’t afford Greinke to have a mental relapse or a physical issue and his value to go to zero,” the executive said. Greinke has a well-documented battle with anxiety in his past.

The potential for injury is always there with any player, so Greinke is no different in that regard, but there’s no way to know if this executive has any inside information regarding the right-hander’s anxiety condition or is merely guessing just like the rest of us. Chances are the only people who really know are those among his inner circle. This executive probably isn’t one of them.

Of course, the most logical reason to trade him before next season is that there aren’t any true aces available in free agency this winter outside of the aforementioned Lee. Greinke can control his destiny to a certain degree because of a no-trade list that can block a deal to 20 teams (it decreases to 15 next year), but he makes $13.5 million in each of the next two seasons, a fairly reasonable sum for an ace, even for a mid-market team.

Royals sign Clay Buchholz to minor league deal

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Royals have signed pitcher Clay Buchholz to a minor league deal. Buchholz will earn a $1.5 million salary if he makes the club’s major league roster and can earn an additional $250,000 through incentives. Buchholz has an opt-out date set for May 1, which means if he isn’t on the Royals’ 25-man roster by then, he can request his release.

Buchholz, 33, was acquired by the Phillies from the Red Sox in December 2016, but he made only two starts before an MRI revealed he had a partial tear of his right flexor pronator mass. He underwent surgery in April and missed the rest of the season.

The Royals recently lost Jesse Hahn, who was diagnosed with a sprained right UCL. Buchholz would likely be in consideration for a rotation spot if another starter were to suffer an injury. Presently, the Royals’ rotation appears set with Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jake Junis, and Nate Karns.