KC Royals: Dumb Luck Saved Zack Greinke Trade

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Jun 14, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners designated hitter

Jesus Montero

(63) hits a single against the Texas Rangers during the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski blasted the Greinke trade because he thought none of the players the KC Royals acquired in the deal had “star” potential. He believed Dayton Moore had acquired a collection of useful parts, but no true difference maker.

Five years later, Lorenzo Cain’s emergence makes Posnanski’s objections look silly. Yet, JoPo’s reservations were well founded.

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At the time, Escobar looked like he didn’t have the bat to be a star, Cain was 25-years-old (rather long in the tooth for a prospect) and still raw, Odorizzi looked like more like a mid-rotation guy rather than a top end talent, and Jeremy Jeffress was a reliever who threw 100 mph but struggled with substance abuse issues.

In fact, one could speculate that the KC Royals front office might have agreed with Posnanski. Rumor had it that the Kansas City Royals wanted to cut a deal for then-Yankees catching prospect Jesus Montero—whom Baseball America rated as the third best prospect in the game behind two guys named Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.

According to Jazayerli, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal heard the Royals wanted to trade Greinke for Montero and Eduardo Nunez, but the Yankees refused.

That deal would have been a disaster for Kansas City.

Montero, to put it bluntly, has been a bust. At 25-years-old in 2015, Montero has a career .258/.302/.396 line and has not been able to stick at catcher. That .698 OPS simply doesn’t play at either DH or first base—which are the only two positions Montero can fill on a major-league team.

Now with Seattle, after the Yankees dealt him for pitcher Michael Pineda, Jesus Montero is playing at AAA in the Mariners system.

Meanwhile, Eduardo Nunez plays for the Twins as a utility infielder with a perfectly respectable triple slash of .291/.333/.485 this season. However, that line has come in only 112 plate appearances and isn’t consistent with his career slash line of .266/.308/.390.

Even more telling, Nunez is 28-years-old and has never earned more than 336 plate appearances in a season over his six-year career.

Had Dayton Moore managed to convince the Yankees to accept this deal, he probably wouldn’t be the KC Royals general manager today. He’d have been fired.

Next: Another Rumored Deal That Would Have Led To Disaster