3 teams Zack Greinke could return with after KC Royals farewell bombed

New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages
2 of 3

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have started to pick up a little steam this offseason; in just the past few weeks, they've acquired pitcher Marco Gonzales from the Braves, finalized a contract with former free agent Rowdy Tellez, and reportedly have a deal with Martín Pérez, who pitched over 140 innings for the Rangers this year. Just like almost every other team, though, they still have rotation woes. Mitch Keller, Pérez, and Gonzales make a good 1-2-3, but the backend of the rotation definitely needs some work. FanGraphs projects Luis L. Ortiz, who started 15 games for the Pirates this year, and Bailey Falter, a longtime Phillies farmhand who has pitched less than 200 MLB innings in an eight season career, in the Nos. 4 and 5 spots.

This could be where Greinke comes in. Falter, who got two months and 40 1/3 innings of work in for the Pirates in August and September after being traded to Pittsburgh at the deadline, pitched to a 5.58 ERA with the Pirates. The Phillies kept him in their organization for a long time despite the fact that he never quite broke out in the major leagues, but the Pirates might not have the same kind of affection/hope/etc. for him. If they were interested in Greinke, who again is a tried and true veteran, using him to replace Falter as their fifth starter seems like it could have more upside than down.