Zack Greinke: Why the Right-Hander Should Be the Milwaukee Brewers' Top Target

Justin Schultz@@JSchu23Correspondent INovember 11, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Zack Greinke #23 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2012 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

When the Milwaukee Brewers traded Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels, there was hope among fans that Greinke's exodus from Milwaukee would be short-lived. Greinke is the best free-agent pitcher available, and with his love of Milwaukee, the Brewers have a slight advantage and should go all-in to re-sign him.

For good reason, Greinke will be highly coveted this offseason. The former Cy Young award winner racked up 15 wins while losing only five decisions this past season. He posted a 3.48 ERA, which was a stellar improvement over last year's 3.83 ERA.

He has pinpoint accuracy on his wicked fastball, and his deadly curveball forces hitters to lash out uncontrollably. His changeup is what makes him a threat on the mound, especially against left-handed hitters.

Teams will go hard to sign the ace, but franchises like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox may stay out of the chase. With Greinke's social anxiety disorder, they don't believe Greinke would adapt well to a big city

This gives Milwaukee an even bigger advantage.

Even though he rejected Milwaukee's five-year, $100-million-plus deal, money is not a big deciding factor for Greinke. He turned a shoulder on Milwaukee's proposal because he had never experienced free agency before and wanted to get a taste of it. He's getting that chance now.

There are reports that Greinke is looking for a six-year deal worth $150 million. The Brewers are kidding themselves if they think they can afford that, but don't be surprised if Greinke takes a pay cut to sign with a team he is comfortable with and has the chance to win. Enter Milwaukee.

Because Greinke isn't looking for massive amounts of zeros on his paycheck, the Brewers are in contention to sign him. He wants to win. Seven losing seasons in Kansas City were enough for him. He yearns to be on a triumphant team and will not hesitate to take on a lesser salary to make that a reality.

He first garnered success in 2011 with Milwaukee as they made it to the National League Championship Series before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals. 2012 was a season filled with promise, but a blasphemous bullpen dashed any high hopes. With a revamped bullpen and Greinke in the rotation again, Milwaukee would be a favorite to reach the postseason.

Greinke adored his time in Milwaukee, raved about the organization and thrived in Miller Park. Plus, he and the Crew still have open lines of communication, which General Manager Doug Melvin should exercise.

Milwaukee is looking to sign a veteran starting pitcher. Who's better than Greinke?