The Twins have been watching this postseason and noticing that the teams fighting a trip to the World Series all have an ace (or multiple aces) to lead their pitching staff. So the Twins and their fans are searching hard for their own ace to help push them over the top for next season.
The name that has popped up the most over the last week or so is Zach Greinke of the Kansas City Royals. He is under contract for the next two seasons so trading for Greinke could demand quite a price. He is still fairly young and he already has one Cy Young Award on his resume.
The problem with Greinke's contract is that he has a no-trade clause. This clause only lasts until the end of next season. Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Buzz wrote the following about the details of Greinke's contract:
-During the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Greinke was able to block trades to 20 teams.
-In 2011, that protection drops to 15 teams..
-This year, the clause would have permitted the Royals to trade him to mostly small-market teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays. Greinke could have blocked deals to the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, among other big-market teams.
If all of this information is true the Twins could have a chance at landing the star pitcher. Most likely not all of the teams on Greinke's list will be announced so there could be a lot more speculation. The Twins have fit into the mold of small market team so Greinke might be willing to make the shift to another AL Central team.
According to the Royals Authority blog written by Clark Fosler there has been a shift in the attitude of the Royals in regards to a Greinke trade. He states that the Royals have shifted from trying to get a "blow our socks off offer" to a "we will discuss reasonable trades offer." Does that mean that the market might be shrinking for their young star pitcher? He did have a rough 2010 season so that might be playing a factor in this shift.
The focus for the Twins is coming up with the right package of players to throw at the Royals. One part of their trade package could be one of the four major league outfielders that the Twins have. The organization is also very deep at the outfield position at the lower levels so any top prospects might have to come from this pool as well. Losing an outfielder in a deal wouldn't set the team back too much since the team is so deep.
The package that I can see the Twins offering for Greinke would include: One of the current outfielders (Kubel, Span, or Young), a high caliber outfield prospect (Revere, Hicks, Arcia), and a pitching prospect (Hendriks, Bullock, Salcedo).
The Twins are not going to part with Kyle Gibson or Alex Wimmers even if the Royals ask for one of them.
Let me know your thoughts on a possible trade for Greinke. Who would you have in your package of players sent to the Royals?