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MVBrewer #8: Zack Greinke

While he was only with the Brewers for four months of 2012, Zack Greinke's contribution to the Brewers was undeniable. His final contribution to the team may have a lasting impact in the next six seasons.

Brian Kersey

MVBrewers is a player-by-player look at the most valuable members of the 2012 Brewers, as voted on by you. Here's where we stand so far:

1. Ryan Braun
2. Aramis Ramirez
3. Yovani Gallardo
4. Corey Hart
5. Norichika Aoki
6. Jonathan Lucroy
7. Carlos Gomez
8. Zack Greinke

You can see all eight player profiles in the Most Valuable Brewers 2012 section. The voting for the #9 spot will open at 3 pm today.

When the Brewers acquired Zack Greinke before the 2011 season, his primary purpose was to get the Brewers to the postseason in 2011. After accomplishing that in 2011, they were hoping to get another postseason appearance out of him in 2012. When that didn't happen, the Brewers looked at getting the most value they could out of him.

In his four months with the year, Greinke made 21 starts for the Brewers (including a streak of 3 straight starts in July). He pitched 123 innings for the Brewers, putting up a 3.44 ERA and 2.53 FIP. His strikeout rate dropped from 10.5 K/9 down to 8.9 K/9, still above his career average of 8.0 K/9. However, his walk rate (2.0 BB/9) and HR rate (0.5 HR/9) also dropped. Despite being with the team for only four months, he also led all Brewers pitchers in WAR with 3.8. Most importantly, the Brewers went 14-7 in his 2012 starts, along with a 7-1 record at home. While the Brewers finally lost one of his starts at home, he has still never taken a losing decision in a start at Miller Park.

Greinke's final contribution to the team came when he was traded to the Angels on July 28. The Brewers got three players in return: shortstop Jean Segura (who played the final month and a half of the season in Milwaukee) and pitchers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena. While it wasn't the same level of prospects that they gave up to get Greinke, the final deal was still close to what the Brewers originally gave up. Depending on how these players turn out, Greinke's final contribution to the Brewers could affect the franchise for the next six years, or even more.

Best Game

On June 22, Zack Greinke put up one of the best pitching performance of the year for the Brewers. In a game where the Brewers offense was completely stagnant through nine innings, they needed some strong pitching to stay in the game, and Greinke provided it. He pitched nine shutout innings against the White Sox, allowing a total of three hits and one walk on only four strikeouts. It was the closest the Brewers would come to a complete game from a starter in 2012, but Greinke would not get credit for it as the game went ten innings. However, he did his job by keeping the Brewers in the game, and the offense finally put up a run in the tenth inning to give Greinke the win as well.

You can see some of the highlights from Greinke's performance in the video below:

Contract Status

Zack Greinke finished his 4 year/$38 million deal in 2012 and will be a free agent this offseason. Don't be surprised if the Brewers make him an offer, but he may be outside of their price range now. He is considered to be one of the top (if not the top) starting pitchers on the market and will get a big contract this offseason. Here are some recent contracts/extensions that will probably come into play with the negotiations.

Player Length Total Value
Cole Hamels 6 Years $144 Million
Matt Cain 6 Years $127.5 Million
CC Sabathia 5 Years $122 Million
Cliff Lee 5 Years $120 Million
C.J. Wilson 5 Years $77.5 Million
Roy Halladay 3 Years $60 Million
Mark Buehrle 4 Years $58 Million
Tim Lincecum 2 Years $40.5 Million

Based on some of these recent deals, Zack Greinke is in line for a big payday. It may be a long shot at best for the Brewers to sign him this offseason.