Greinke, who began his career in Kansas City, would be particularly intriguing — he likely would welcome a trade to St. Louis and a chance to sign with the Cardinals long term. It is not known whether the Brewers would be willing to trade Greinke within the division, but they should be if the deal would work to their benefit.
Rosenthal believes the official end to Chris Carpenter’s season could motivate the Cardinals to target one of the top pitchers available this summer, including Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels, Chicago Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, Houston Astros veteran Wandy Rodriguez, or Greinke.
While Greinke may welcome a trade to the Cardinals, Rosenthal isn’t sure if the Brewers would be interested trading their ace within the division. Rosenthal adds that the Cardinals may gain enough payroll flexibility after this season and next to take on a Greinke extension.
As for the future, the Cardinals might not want to invest $20 million per season in a starting pitcher such as Greinke, but they will gain flexibility after both this season and next.
First baseman Lance Berkman ($12 million) and right-handers Kyle Lohse ($11.875 million) and Westbrook ($8.5 million) are potential free agents this offseason.
Carpenter ($12.5 million), outfielder Carlos Beltran ($13 million) and shortstop Rafael Furcal ($7 million) will be in the final years of contracts in 2013.
Should the Brewers be open to trading Greinke to a division rival?