Sources: Greinke asks Royals for trade

Zack Greinke wants to be traded, and the Kansas City Royals intend to grant his wish.

Greinke fired his agent on Friday, the clearest indication yet of the ace right-hander’s desire to be sent to another club.

After Greinke switched representation from SFX Baseball to CAA, a high-ranking executive from another team told, “He really wants out of K.C.” Separate major-league sources confirmed that Greinke has unequivocally asked the Royals to be traded.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore declined comment. But sources say the Royals, believing Greinke will pitch better in 2011 if he joins a team with a stronger chance to win right away, have discussed trade possibilities with numerous suitors.

Frustrated with losing, Greinke, 27, became disengaged from his team at times this year. One season after winning the American League Cy Young Award, his ERA increased from a league-best 2.16 to 4.17.

The Royals have finished with a losing record in each of Greinke’s seven big-league seasons. Only once did they avoid losing 90 games. The sustained losing — despite the presence of promising prospects on the horizon — is the primary reason Greinke no longer wants to pitch for the team.

But the Royals’ efforts to trade Greinke are complicated by the fact that he has a no-trade provision that allows him to block deals to 15 teams. The New York Yankees, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers — all interested in acquiring a starting pitcher — are on the list.

While Greinke’s rationale for changing agents is unclear, he may have been drawn to CAA because of the agency’s work for Roy Halladay last offseason. Halladay then, like Greinke now, asked to be traded away from the only organization he had ever known, in order to have a better chance to reach the postseason for the first time. Halladay was dealt to Philadelphia, where he signed a $60 million contract extension and threw a no-hitter in the playoffs.

Casey Close of CAA is regarded as a direct and firm negotiator, according to executives who spoke with on Friday. Close received a lot of recent publicity for his public stances on behalf of client Derek Jeter, who signed a three-year, $51 million contract with the New York Yankees earlier this month.

SFX negotiated Greinke’s current contract, on which two seasons and $27 million remain.

AOL Fanhouse first reported that Greinke had fired his agent.

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