Greinke Trade

Now that the dust has settled on this blockbuster deal, I thought that it would be good to dissect and analyze this trade, which could potentially shift the balance of power in the NL Central.

The Brewers receive 27 year old former AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash.

The Royals receive the Brewers starting shortstop, 23 year old Alcides Escobar, and three prospects; 24 year old outfielder Lorenzo Cain, 22 year old reliever Jeremy Jeffress (RHP) and 20 year old starter Jake Odorizzi (RHP).

Why this trade happened?
The Brewers main concern heading into this offseason was starting pitching and they had a wealth of prospects to offer a suitor. 
The Royals' hand was somewhat forced by Greinke's unhappiness playing for a struggling franchise.  Although a forced trade was never implied, it was well known that Greinke would rather be traded than spend another season in Kansas City.  The Royals needed to ensure maximum return if they were even going to consider trading the ace of their staff but if a deal came their way that offered up top tier prospects, Greinke could be undoubtedly be moved. 

What the Brewers are getting...
With Greinke, the Brewers are getting a star quality pitcher that is under control for two more seasons.  They also get a MLB caliber shortstop in Betancourt that should have no problems filling in for the budding young Escobar. 

What the Royals are getting...
Over the course of his minor league career, Alcides Escobar exhibited well above average base running skills, a decent eye, an ability to hit for contact and improved his fielding enough to earn a spot among Baseball America's top 20 list.  After bursting onto the scene in 2009, Escobar struggled in his sophomore campaign but the talent is there and if the Royals can get him off and running, he could develop into a household name.  Lorenzo Cain's career has followed a similar trajectory; tremendous eye, good contact hitter, average on base skills and average in the field but Cain has had to battle injuries.  Despite those injuries, Cain burst onto the ML scene as a second half call up and posted great numbers.  The power hasn't come yet but he has a sturdy frame so it could.  Regardless, Cain projects as a major league player with a high ceiling.  Jeffress could turn out to be a decent reliever; his minor league numbers were all over the board but he always seemed to settle in and posted very good numbers in hitter friendly AA.  He had a cup of coffee in the major leagues last season and made the most of it posting a 2.70 ERA in 10 games.  He'll help the big league club in 2011.  The key to this deal for the Royals was probably Jake Odorizzi; unfortunately, young pitchers are tougher to project but some scouts say that, oddly enough, Odorizzi looks like a young Zack Greinke.  He struck out 135 batters in 120 innings at the single A level in 2010 to go along with a 7-3 record and a respectable 3.43 ERA.  He stands 6'2" and weighs 175 pounds so he has some developing to do but the tools are there. 

The Royals stockpiled real talent for the future and they have to be happy with that considering the lack of teams willing to give away top prospects for starting pitching.  No matter how good Greinke was in 2009, the fact that his sophomore campaign was average at best and given the question marks surrounding his mental makeup were enough to make many teams balk at the asking price.  Escobar might never live up to the lofty projections that were placed upon him but he should be able to maintain a spot as a starter for a long time.  Cain has the tools to be an impact player and if he stays healthy he could definitely be the best player to emerge from this deal on either team.  Odorizzi is young so there is time to see what he has but I think that the Royals farm system is certainly better with him in it.  Betancourt and Jeffress are role players and teams need those guys on their roster - Betancourt has veteran qualities that will help the Brewers win now.  I think that the Royals probably got what they could out of Greinke and even with him they weren't going to contend over the next two years and then they would be facing a situation where they would get nothing in return.  But it's really hard to fathom any team giving up a talent like him.   It all comes down to health/well being - if Greinke stays healthy, the Brewers have effectively shifted the power in the NL Central.  It all comes down to this: the Brewers are taking a huge risk by gutting the farm for a young pitcher like Greinke and the Royals are building for the future - it makes a lot of sense for both teams but I'm sure there are a lot of Royals fans who are nodding their head in disagreement.


  1. I think this trade will show as a win for the Royals in the long run. Greinke too much of a head case. Don't see him repeating 2009.

  2. Brewers made out better for next year making a run @ the Central with the added pitching, but Greinke won't repeat his CY year, that was a one and only performance. His stuff is good but never amounted to much as far as team success or important games go. The Royals gave up a pain in the neck SS (who was kicked off the Braves essentially), big wup.

    The Royals will continue to trade away valued players for 'press.' They wont be any better realtively speaking. They now have NO pitcher to speak of and no improved offense. Cain and Escobar just kinda had their budding careers punted. See the long list of "press" that never made it, (Teahen, Gordon, DeJesus, Aviles, German) Expect the S.S. Billy Butler ship to sail soon too. The biggets loser here...Jaquin Soria gets up and leaves too. He probably wanted to be part of the Greinke deal. Too Bad so sad. Royals are a well dressed AAA team anyway, The Indians will be better


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