Rumor: I heard that Zack Greinke secretly wears Royals underwear to bed. Clearly, he’s going to sign with the Royals this offseason.
Rumor: Well I heard, he’s been drawing pictures that look a lot like the Plaza so I think he’ll be signed for less than market value.
Rumor: Yeah, I think he’s probably gonna sign cuz he draws his power from the fountains at Kauffman. Without them, he will eventually wither away. Like Superman with the sun and everything.
This is how ridiculous everyone who believes Greinke is coming back to the Royals sounds. Normally, I would write a rational response to this belief. I would hedge my bets against being wrong and try to consider the reasoning behind the assertion that Greinke will sign in Kansas City. But I feel that would do more harm than good at this point. Those who believe in this fantasy need that belief smothered right now.
IT WILL NOT HAPPEN (watch it happen now).
But seriously. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.
Greinke asked to leave this place. He didn’t want to be here, and his coming back is contingent on too many variables that are in fact tremendous obstacles. The first and simplest is that he probably doesn’t want to come here. He didn’t want to stay here so why would he want to come back? Because the Royals are poised to lose 88 games? Because the barbeque is so good? (That is tempting but no.)
The second obstacle? The Royals have to want him to come back. We all assume that they do, but maybe they don’t. We don’t know. Greinke comes with baggage. Dayton Moore has already had to deal with that baggage once, he may not think that dealing with it again is good for the team or worth the price tag.
Which brings us to the largest hurdle. The Royals can’t afford Greinke. A former Cy Young winner with Greinke’s dominant stuff in a market that will be starved for big-time starting pitching is going to command a salary the Royals can’t/won’t/shouldn’t give (choose one). The Royals cannot outbid anyone and certainly won’t be able to play in a bidding war the involves multiple big-market teams. Dayton Moore was unwilling to pull the trigger on a guy like Edwin Jackson last offseason. What’s changed so that now he’ll be able to offer even more money for Greinke?
I love the enthusiasm, and I love that people are thinking in the right direction. This team needs starting pitching in a bad way, but why is Greinke the answer? He isn’t, but why do so many people believe he is? There are other capable pitchers on the market who won’t cost as much and may be just as or only slightly less effective. So, why are people so fixated on Greinke?
I’m not going to answer that because either the answer is obvious (people are still attached to him because of the success he had here) or answering it serves no purpose. I’ll just say this. Drop the delusion. Greinke’s not coming back, and ponder this question instead. Why do you want him back?