Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun drops a bombshell (of sorts): some rando source of his suggests the Orioles — Baltimore! — are the most “aggressive suitor” for the right-handed awesome-maker Zack Greinke’s services at the trade deadline.

While my every impulse is to pan and or trash this idea…it must just be crazy enough to work.

Reckless as the Orioles pursuit of playoff glory in 2012 might be, adding Zack Greinke to any team is a good idea. Adding a strikeout master like Greinke, himself no stranger to the creeping dread of a porous defense ready to undo his fine work at any time, might be the very shot in the arm the O’s need to keep themselves in the playoff race.

Connolly notes that the Orioles pitching is of greatest concern to their playoff chances, having just demoted three-fifths of the starter rotation over the last week. Greinke’s price tag is said to be sky high and while the O’s refuse to part with their two top prospects (Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado) they might go another route: selling low on a post-hype sleeper:

What could change the equation is if an opposing team believes it can get the most out of one the “cavalry” pitchers that are currently in Norfolk: Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta or Zach Britton. The Orioles would be selling low on any of the trio — they would likely have to include one of those as part of a prospects package for Greinke, and that still may not be enough in comparison to other teams’ offers.

Obviously nothing gets done if the Brewers are bearish on salvaging the one of the aforementioned pitchers, but it a very interesting starting point. Former Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz now works for the Brewers, providing extra insight for the team should a potential deal surface.

The Orioles starters have only posted 5.9 fWAR/3 rWAR this season , making their 44-38 record seem even more improbably. Greinke himself already has 3.5 fWAR/2.7 rWAR to his name and gives the O’s a legit ace – a real #1 who can go deep into games and handled the grind of a pennant race with aplomb in 2011 (39 Ks and 13 BB in 36 September innings, only 12 RA.)

Greinke to the Orioles might be just crazy enough to work, I cannot believe I just typed. If the Orioles can keep their two super-prospects while arming themselves for an unlikely stretch drive, they gotta do it. Within reason, any trade that does not include Manny Machado and/or Dylan Bundy should be 100% in play.

Can Baltimore re-sign the mercurial former Cy Young winner? Is Zack Greinke actually mercurial? Who knows and, frankly, who cares. Figure out the details after the fact. Teams like the Orioles aren’t in this sort of situation very often – no harm in taking a shot if you get it.

Ed note: If anyone needs me, I’ll be hoarding canned goods and potable water for the coming apocalypse.

Comments (6)

  1. Greinke still has a no trade though, right? And given his rumoured reservations about pitching for an AL East team I can’t imagine he’d be jazzed about moving into the AL East arms race two months away from free agency.

  2. For some reason, I see this ending badly for Baltimore if it happens. Even without Bundy and Machado, the price for Greinke will be very high, and I don’t think Baltimore will be able to keep him after this year. So this trade will sacrifice some of their future to win this year, which I still don’t believe will come close to happening. There are going to be several important games in August and September between Baltimore and the Yankees/Rays/Red Sox (maybe), and I don’t think the addition of Greinke will be enough for Baltimore to overcome the fact that they aren’t prepared for that kind of pressure and intensity.

    All of this is based on absolutely nothing of course, and in saying this, I realize it probably means it’s going to happen, and turn out great for the Orioles.

  3. I’m all for a team buying low on Matusz, but giving up Grienke isn’t the same as buying low…there’s got to be an arm and a leg coming back to Milwaukee, and the O’s have a negative run differential. I personally don’t see this at all.

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