There is no doubt that the Atlanta Braves want to land Zack Greinke before the July 31 trade deadline, but plenty of other clubs around the league will also bid to land the talented right-handed pitcher. The Brewers know this, and they will not sell Greinke off for cheap due to the deep market for starting pitching.
According to this latest report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Braves and Orioles are considered the leaders in the Greinke sweepstakes as of today.
The Baltimore Orioles will make a run at Brewers star Zack Greinke, sources say, and some now believe the Orioles and Atlanta Braves loom as the most likely to land Greinke in trade.
Of course, it's very early, so early Greinke isn't even known to be available yet. The Brewers were said by a source likely to wait to see how they fair against division competition in the games following the All-Star break before deciding whether to sell.
It would seem odd for Milwaukee to hang onto Greinke unless they go on an incredibly hot stretch from now until the days leading up to the deadline. Greinke will become a free agent at the end of the season, and their reported contract discussions have gone nowhere.
Combine that with the new collective bargaining agreement that no longer grants draft pick compensation for free agents, and it's easy to see why the Brewers would be ready to sell high. After tossing 108 innings this season, Greinke sits at 9-2 with an ERA of 3.08 and NL-best FIP of 2.38. He has 106 strikeouts and walked just 28 batters.
We'll keep an eye on any and all developments in the coming weeks, but until then expect to hear the Braves' name linked to most Greinke rumors. They have the prospects and money to get a deal done, but they're going to get some stiff competition from clubs around the league.
For more on the Braves, check out Talking Chop.