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One of the biggest decisions new manager Ron Roenicke will have to make early is who will pitch the opener. Gallardo started Milwaukee’s first game last season, while Marcum opened for Toronto and Greinke for Kansas City.

“It’s too early to say that,” Roenicke said, laughing.

Greinke has two years left on the $38 million, four-year contract he signed with the Royals in January 2009, and he is due $13.5 million in each of the final two seasons. Greinke is 60-67 with a 3.82 ERA in six-plus seasons with the Royals. He sat out most of the 2006 season because of an anxiety disorder and considered quitting.

“Before I left baseball, and before I got on the medicine, just having to go through everything that definitely made me a stronger person,” Greinke said. “After I got on the medicine, it made it a lot easier. But going through the stuff before definitely made me a lot stronger.”

Greinke declined to comment on an report that the Nationals also struck an agreement to deal for him, but he used his no-trade clause to nix a trade. Milwaukee was on Greinke’s no-trade list, too, even as Melvin continued working with Royals GM Dayton Moore to try to secure the right-hander.

“I’m glad I didn’t give up on it,” Melvin said. “I called Dayton last week and asked if there was any way we could start talking again. I knew it was going to be a costly trade. We gave up some very talented young players.

“If I was in Dayton’s seat, I would have selected the players he did, too. The thing about is, we’re getting a young pitcher who’s 27 years old with a Cy Young Award and someone who is very energized to be in the postseason.”