By Nathan Petrashek
File under, “Totally wild speculation.”
Today the Brewers announced that, in the heart of a three-game series that will decide the fate of the 2012 Brewers, Zack Greinke will miss his scheduled start on Wednesday. As Adam McCalvy so eloquently stated this morning, “something’s up.”
There are a lot of things this could mean. It could mean that the Brewers just want to get him some extra rest, and that’s their public position for the moment (well, that, and get him back on schedule, which one does not generally do by taking him off-schedule). It could mean the Brewers have found a willing trade partner, but that likely means they have been blown away with an offer and all signs point to a diminishing market for Greinke. It could be that the Brewers want Greinke to pitch against front-running Cincinnati, although that would take him away from the friendly confines of Miller Park. So there’s not a really choice explanation among any of these.
So I got to thinking: What if the Brewers have reached an agreement with Greinke on an extension?
This is an admittedly unlikely scenario. If Greinke was amenable to an extension, he probably would have kept the conversation open earlier in the season. Greinke likely wants to test the free agent waters this offseason in the hopes of securing a Matt Cain-esque deal.
But there’s enough logical force operating behind my extension thesis to support a post on it in the hopes of starting a conversation and getting some reaction.
What we know: As of last week, it was reported that the Brewers intended to approach Greinke with something like a 5-year, $100M extension proposal. We also know the Brewers intend to decide by the end of the Cincinnati series whether they will be sellers. And we learned today that Greinke will miss his next scheduled start, but that there is not an injury issue (at least if you believe Doug Melvin).
Perhaps the Brewers were successful in their last-ditch overtures to sign Greinke to a long term deal. Given the timing of their selling decision, it’s likely that they’ve already approached Greinke with an offer. If they have reached an agreement in principle, Greinke might be shut down pending the contract drafting, paperwork, and physical, which means he wouldn’t continue with his usual between-start routine and would have to be pushed back from his Wednesday start.
Again, this is an unlikely scenario, but it seems to jive with the available facts. Or am I totally overlooking something? Let me know in the comments and let the Zack Greinke speculation train roll on.
UPDATE: Tom Haudricourt reports on Twitter that Greinke gave the impression that he was he was not on board with being skipped, so we’ll see what that means. For now, all we know is that Greinke is next scheduled to start on Tuesday at Philadelphia.