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Trading Greinke no stretch for D-backs

The Arizona Diamondbacks may need to deal ace Zack Greinke over the winter, to exploit a weak free-agent market and acquire payroll flexibility with which to rebuild. Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Zack Greinke will make $34 million in 2017, and if the Diamondbacks’ payroll remains at about the same level as it was last season, about $100 million, that means new Arizona general manager Mike Hazen will have about $65 million left to pay all of the other players on the Diamondbacks' roster.

To repeat: One player, a 33-year-old pitcher whose strikeout-to-walk ratio plummeted from 5.00-to-1 in 2015 to 3.27-to-1 in 2016, will eat up about a third of the Diamondbacks’ entire payroll next season -- and for the four years that follow.

This is why the Diamondbacks’ trade of star infielder Jean Segura seems to be as much about Hazen taking an important first step to control a very difficult payroll situation. Soon enough, we’ll see whether he takes more necessary moves, perhaps by trading another All-Star, as well as Greinke himself.

The two primary pieces the Diamondbacks received from Seattle carry a high degree of risk. The Mariners would not have moved pitcher Taijuan Walker if they were absolutely convinced that his incredible athleticism would inevitably lead to stardom, and there are questions about whether Ketel Marte will hit well enough to be an everyday shortstop in the big leagues. In 176 games, Marte has a total of 43 extra-base hits, and his slugging percentage of .349 over the past two seasons ranks 222nd among the 232 players with at least 700 plate appearances in that time frame.