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Former Cy Young Winner Demands Trade From Royals

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Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

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(CBSSPORTS.COM/David Andriesen) — Well, we’ve moved from “the Royals might consider trading Zack Greinke for the right price” to “Zack Greinke wants out.”

Greinke fired his agent Friday, apparently part of an effort to force a trade. FOXSports.com is hearing from multiple major-league sources that the Cy Young winner has asked to be traded.

Greinke, 27, is unhappy with being on a losing team, something he was very open about in a September interview. “I just want to be on a team that’s working towards winning right now. I don’t want to just go through years where you’re rebuilding. It’s not something that gets me excited is all.”

After winning the Cy Young in 2009 with a MLB-best 2.16 ERA, Greinke went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA last season. Baseball people think Greinke wasn’t giving his best effort, and he admitted he wasn’t motivated, things that might be corrected with a change of scenery.

Greinke has a no-trade provision with 15 teams listed, including the Yankees, Nationals, Blue Jays, Brewers and Red Sox. Of course, that doesn’t mean he can’t be traded to any of those 15 teams, just that he’d have to give permission. Now that he’s trying to get out, that’s probably more likely than it was when he signed the contract. He has two more years on his deal at $13.5 million per season.

The Royals had reportedly been asking for the moon for Greinke, but the pitcher’s new stance might pressure them to be more flexible. And Greinke’s new agent, Casey Close, was the force behind getting Roy Halladay out of Toronto last winter.

If I’m a GM, I’d be a little wary of banking on a guy for whom a $38 million contract and a sense of professionalism didn’t provide sufficient motivation to work hard at his job. But you can bet the lure of adding a No. 1 pitcher is going to be enough to get a lot of teams past those misgivings.

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