Could a Return to Milwaukee be in Zach Greinke’s Future?

by Kevin Kimmes

Since leaving Milwaukee in a trade with the Angels, Zach Greinke has failed to be the second ace that the Halos thought they were acquiring. With a bulbous ERA of 6.19 and a WHIP of 1.593, the former Cy Young winner has crumbled just when his new team needs him the most. At 1-4 in 5 starts, it may not be long before the Angels start crying foul as they watch their playoff hopes disintegrate before their very eyes.

So, Why a Return to Milwaukee?

Well, it’s simple really. Greinke’s stock is plummeting  just as he’s about to enter the free agent market. What previously was going to be a contract that the Brewers’ brass would never be able to touch is coming back down to earth and after such a demoralizing second half of the season, there won’t be as many suitors at the ball this time around. Who, you ask, won’t be there: The large market clubs.

While Greinke had success in both Kansas City (2nd smallest) and Milwaukee (the smallest market), it appears that the pressures of playing big market ball (the Angels and Dodgers are 2nd only to the Mets and Yankees) may just be too much for the young hurler. For those that don’t know (or may have forgotten), Zach struggled early in his career and was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and depression, both of which he overcame on his way to being named the 2009 American League Cy Young award winner. Unfortunately, this move to the big city may possibly have stirred up these old demons, leading to less than stellar performance on the mound, and scaring off potential off season buyers.

LA’s Loss Is Milwaukee’s Gain

For all of those fans that have been calling for Doug Melvin’s head, take a deep breath, and relax, all is not lost. While this year’s campaign is all but finished, the future looks bright for Milwaukee thanks to several key acquisitions, and it gets even brighter if Melvin can make a deal to bring Zach back. But why would he come back? Well I’ll give you 15 reasons.

In 23 starts at Miller Park, Greinke never was tagged for a loss. He carries a 15-0 record with an ERA of 2.93. Add to this the fact that he was well liked by management and left on good terms, and I find it hard to believe that Doug Melvin wouldn’t be chomping at the bit, just biding his time until the season is over and negotiations can begin.

And what a move this would be. For half a season of service, you acquire your new everyday shortstop and two pitching prospects, then get your guy back anyways. That my friends, is pure genius (well, maybe a little luck too).

But Will It Happen?

Only time will tell, but I for one, would be more surprised if Milwaukee didn’t make a run at Greinke this off season. Having a starting 4 of Greinke, Gallardo, Feirs, and Narveson should be enough to warm the hearts of even the most jaded fans who cringe in fear every time they see Randy Wolfe’s name come up as tomorrow’s starter.

Now, to work on this bullpen situation.

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