Zach Greinke, the Royals Demands, and the Yankee Farm System

I know that the defenders of the farm system are generally against a Zach Greinke trade- the former Cy Young winner would need an expensive extension, and while he has been equal to or better than CC Sabathia or Cliff Lee (and also managed to be younger than both of them each season also), he's also got a bunch of 'big stage' baggage neither of those players carries.

I understand not gutting the farm system for Greinke.

But yesterday, we got a clear indication of what the Royals are looking for:

The Royals are quite specific in what they want, the source said. They are asking for pitching to replace Greinke and help at one or more of the four up-the-middle positions — center field, shortstop, second base and catcher.

...

The Royals would like to add a speedy center fielder to hit at the top of their lineup. They are thin at the upper levels in catching. And their most recent No. 1 draft pick, Christian Colon, could prove a Rey Sanchez-Edgar Renteria type, a shortstop with average range. Or, he could move to second base.

The Yankees are not the favorites for Greinke- our new rivals, the Texas Rangers have the inside track.

But there's nothing I value more than starting pitching; whether Cliff Lee signs with the Yanks or not, and whether Andy Pettitte retires or not, there's always room on my team for a 27 year old coming off 3 straight seasons of 200+ IP and WHIP > 1.275- so let's make a deal.

Joba (back to the rotation and near his home in Nebraska), RHP Betances, CF Brett Gardner, C Austin Romine, SS Eduardo Nunez and 2B Corban Joseph.  Would that beat the rumored SS Jurickson Profar (BA rank 2), outfielder Engel Beltre (BA rank 5) and one or more of the Rangers’ pitching prospects?

My proposal gives the Royals less 'can't miss' but more MLB seasoned talked- and both Joba and Gardner have several years of team control left. Would the Royals rather have Hector Noesi than Eduardo Nunez? Done. If the Rangers include top prospect Martin Perez in addition to another top 10 pitcher, the Yankees probably can't (shouldn't) top that.

I'm sure there are plenty of people who will point to Brett Gardner's team leading OBP, his 5 WAR season and his gritty and guttiness, and ask, "Who would play left field (especially now that Crawford signed with the Red Sox)?" The truth is, with or without Carl Crawford, it's not their lineup that scares me- it's Lester and Buchholz at the top of their rotation and finding a good year from either Beckett or Lackey.  I'd much rather head into 2011 with a dominant rotation and a stop gap in left field than an All Star in left and a stop gap in the rotation (Sorry Ivan Nova).

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