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What Does it Mean?: Melvin & Greinke’s Agent Break Off Talks

As reported by multiple sources including Adam McCalvey and Tom Haudricourt the talks between Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin and the agent for Zack Greinke – Casey Close, have been suspended.  

According to Haudricourt Melvin stated that “… doesn’t mean we won’t talk again at some point but we’re going to let it rest right now.” 

The immediate reaction in the twitter-verse was one of the complete panic and the sky is falling variety.  Sure, it’s not the news we’d all love to hear.  We’d all love to hear that talks are finishing up nicely and we’re on our way to a contract extension anytime now.  

But, unlike some, for me it’s also not the end of the world.  These are negotiations in APRIL people.  We’ve got about 7 months worth of baseball and situations to go through at this point, let’s not immediately hit the panic button here.  

It doesn’t help that Greinke’s agent is brand new and I’m just spit-balling it here, but guessing he’s looking to make a bit of a splash for his client and with the Brewers organization?  What does it say if you come in and fold to the first set of offers and negotiations that take place?  It tells the team that you are an easy target to work with.  

We may all hate a certain agent that will remain nameless here, but he gets the job done because he’s good at what he does and he strikes fear into teams negotiating with him.  

I ask you this, what happens if we resign the guy and he has a terrible year and we overpay for an average pitcher at best?  Didn’t we go through that with everyone’s favorite former Brewer in Jeff Suppan.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Greinke and Suppan are in the same class of player, but the point is we overpaid Suppan based on one good year of performance and look how that turned out for us?

One thing I’m sure of is that the Matt Cain contract is one of the things hanging out there that may kill the Brewers.  It’s true that less and less players and teams look at other contracts as a measuring stick because time, place, and circumstances are different for each player.  However, throwing $120 million at Cain from the Giants really put the bar high in terms of a starting point should Greinke have a good first half of the year.  

Like I said before, we’ve got nearly 7 months of a ride to go through and no one knows the outcome.  Perhaps we’ll be better off in the end waiting and seeing what his season looks like.  If it’s great he’s probably priced out of our market no matter what and I don’t begrudge any player their chance to make the most they can, especially pitchers, when they can.  On the other hand what if it’s just an average season with an ERA in the 4’s again?  At that point the ceiling may not be as high as it is right now and the Brewers are in a position of being able to compete for his services because his contract demands may go down.  

One of the stranger positions some are taking is that Greinke is just another liar, saying he loves Milwaukee, but when it comes dow to it he’s just all about the money.  Pretty sure his love for Milwaukee isn’t overstated and do you blame him for trying to get the most money possible out of the Brewers if he indeed wants to sign here?  

Questioning a guys motives without knowing any of the details of the negotiations is just plain wrong.  We have no idea which side was further off or which side thought it best to stop for now.  For all we know it could be a chance for both sides to regroup and revisit the situation next month.  

No matter how this plays out today’s announcement should in no way have you running for the nearest bridge or to the nearest watering hole to drink your sorrows away.  It’s called negotiating for a reason and more times than not I’ll put my faith in Doug Melvin making the right move for this club.  So far for the most part his moves have been positive steps forward for the Milwaukee Brewers. Before you start sending in your bad contract comments, I’m aware there have been some of those, but what GM is perfect?  They won’t get them all right, but overall he’s on the plus side of the ledger with me in this matter.  I’m putting my trust in the fact that Melvin will do what’s best for the club and if that’s not signing Greinke to a deal they can’t or shouldn’t pay him then so be it and if it’s signing him to a deal that’s equitable to both sides during or even after the season than that’s awesome.  But I’m not going to hang on every word of negotiations in April and neither should you, just my humble opinion.  What say you?