Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brewers acquire Zack Greinke from Royals

Take a look at Grienke's wife.  Yowza!
In perhaps the most surprising offseason move, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired 2009 American League Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke from the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals receive centerfielder Lorenzo Cain. shortstop Alcides Escobar, and two pitching prospects.  The Brewers also acquired shortstopYuniesky Betancourt and $2 million.

The move signifies that the Brewers are going all-in for 2011.  They acquired Shawn Marcum earlier in the offseason, and they are going to hang on to slugger Prince Fielder.  Their starting rotation now looks to be one of the strongest in the National League.  In 2010, the Brewers were 14th in ERA.

Greinke had a season for the ages in 2009, but regressed in 2010, going 10-14, with a 4.17 ERA.  He is a proven innings eater however, throwing at least 200 innings each of the last three seasons.

As exciting as this deal is for the Brewers, it is crushing to the Royals, as the team has traded their only proven starting pitcher.  Without Greinke in the fold, Luke Hochevar becomes the defacto ace, which should cause many sleepless nights for Royal fans.  Is there anything positive in this deal for Kansas City?  Lets take a look at the return Kansas City got for the ace.

  • CF Lorenzo Cain:  Cain got his first taste of big league action in 2010, hitting .306/.348/.415, with 1 HR, and 13 RBI's.  www.minorleagueball.com rated him as the #13 Brewers prospect headed into 2010.  He is described as a "toolsy" outfielder with great speed and not a lot of power.  Should be roaming Kauffman Stadium in 2011.
  • SS Alcides Escobar:  Escobar has long been considered one of the top prospects in the Brewers system.  He became the starting shortstop in 2010, and struggled offensively with a .235/.288/.326, with 4 HR's and 41 RBI's.  He put up a 4.7 UZR at short, and should give the Royals a much needed defensive upgrade at short.
  • Pitcher Jeremy Jeffress:  Jeffress was the Brewers first round pick in 2006.  He made his big league debut in 2010, pitching it 10 games out of the bullpen.  He features a fastball that can reach the upper 90's, a good curveball, and is working on a changeup.  He also has been suspended for marijuana use.  Should be the 8th inning guy ahead of Joakim Soria
  • Pitcher Jake Odorizzi:  Was the 32nd overall pick in the 2008 draft.  He put up some impressive numbers in the minors in 2010, most impressive was his 135 strikeouts in 120 innings.  Scouts have compared him to Zack Greinke.
The Brewers also received Yuniesky Betancourt to man the shortstop position.  Betancourt did hit 16 dingers in 2010, but put up a lousy .288 OBP, and plays terrible defense.  He is essentailly a throw-in.

Kevin Says:  I like this deal for both sides.  Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shawn Marcum, and Randy Wolf give the Brew Crew one of the best rotations in the National League.  If Greinke pitches like he did in '09, Milwaukee is a legitimate World Series contender in 2010.

The Royals add to the deepest farm system in the game, and they gain three players who will impact their squad in 2011, and a minor leaguer who may have the most upside of them all.

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