Brewers GM admits Zack Greinke will definitely be traded

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Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has dropped some very strong hints that he’ll be trading Zack Greinke before Tuesday’s deadline, but now he’s left zero doubt.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke to Melvin today and reports that he “will definitely be traded.”

Melvin said previously that the Brewers would deal Greinke if they couldn’t work out a long-term contract extension before the July 31 deadline and admitted to Nightengale that they haven’t negotiated since spring training because Greinke wants to test the market as a free agent:

I don’t think Zack is about the money personally. You get a young guy that’s [28], and in my conversations with him, you get a chance to be a free agent one time. You’ve got to look at that opportunity. He’s been in a small market here. A small market in Kansas City. He’s always said he enjoyed in, but he wants to take a look at everything out there.

There’s always been speculation that Greinke wouldn’t have interest in playing for a big-market team because of his social anxiety issues, but it’s not as if the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers will be the only teams willing to offer him a ton of money as a free agent.

Melvin described Greinke as “like a son to me” and praised his presence in the Brewers’ clubhouse, saying “it’s been a great experience having him for a year and a half.” And during that year-and-a-half Greinke is 25-9 with a 3.67 ERA and 323 strikeouts in 295 innings.

Nightengale lists the Rangers, Angels, Braves, and White Sox as the primary suitors for Greinke, but as Melvin said: “There are a lot of teams that have shown interest. … There are so many good things about him, it’s going to be difficult when we trade him.”

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).