FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi provides the scoop:
It doesn’t appear there has been much dialogue between the Brewers and representatives for Zack Greinke since spring training. As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no evidence that the team had made the 28-year-old a formal offer. And there isn’t much time left before the deadline for the sides to strike a deal.
The longer the Brewers wait to make their final proposal to Greinke, the less time they’ll have to move the right-hander if talks aren’t successful.
Greinke is scheduled to return to the Milwaukee starting rotation next Tuesday night against the Phillies after taking a week off to “recharge his batteries,” as Brewers management put it. The impending free agent has registered a cool 3.57 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 117/28 K/BB ratio through 116 innings of work this season.
The Rangers, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cardinals and Orioles have been linked to him in recent weeks.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.