KC Royals Trades: 3 likely deadline deal candidates

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KC Royals, Zack Greinke
(Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

A probable trade means this pitcher’s return to the KC Royals won’t last.

Other than having no wins, there isn’t much Zack Greinke hasn’t done that Kansas City brought him back to do. Heading into his scheduled start against Minnesota Sunday, he’s 0-3 with a 4.53 ERA, although chronic lack of run support explains his won-loss record and his ERA is skewed drastically by the seven runs he recently allowed Arizona in his last start. Only once has he not made it to the fifth inning and he walks fewer than two batters per nine innings.

But the dream of Greinke returning triumphantly to Kansas City and leading the Royals to better days has vanished with the fate of the club itself. Despite winning two of three to start their current series with Minnesota, the Royals look like a bad team on the verge of getting worse, which means Greinke is expendable, a classic trade deadline target for contenders seeking pitching help down the stretch.

At 38, Greinke is also close to the end of a stellar career and may want a chance to make one more deep postseason run, an opportunity he won’t get with the Royals this year, and maybe not next. And he might want to pitch for a club more capable of helping him solidify his Hall of Fame resumé.

So, don’t be surprised to see other clubs express interest in Greinke and the Royals move him for a prospect.