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Brewers Acquire Greinke from Royals 25

Posted: December 19, 2010, 8:15 PM ; Updated: January 3, 2011, 6:25 PM

By Jon Heyman, SI.com

The Milwaukee Brewers made a stunning and bold move by acquiring ace Zack Greinke in a six-player trade with the Royals.

The Royals receive speedy outfielder Lorenzo Cain, young shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odirizzi for Greinke and veteran shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who presumably will take Escobar's place in the Brewers' infield. Kansas City will also send $2 million in the deal to Milwaukee to cover part of the salary of Betancourt, who is to make $4 million this year and has a $2-million buyout in 2012.

"Zack Greinke is one of the top young pitchers in the game today," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement. "We are very excited to add him to our new rotation.

"Zack brings great physical skills and athleticism to the team and is an outstanding competitor. This trade is a credit to our scouting and player development staff as their hard work and judgment provided us the talented prospects that Kansas City will be receiving. I also appreciate the support of ownership in making this deal."

The Royals felt they had little choice but to trade Greinke, who has occasionally expressed displeasure about the team's progress toward contention and is reported to have requested a trade within the last week. An announcement regarding this trade is expected sometime today.

There is no reason to expect any holdup in the trade because the Royals and Brewers have agreed on contingency plans should one of the prospects be found to have a medical issue.

The Brewers were not on Greinke's list of 15 teams to which he would be traded to without approval, but Milwaukee was on previous lists of teams he'd accept. Locale was potentially an issue in some cases because of Greinke's past battle with social anxiety disorder, but he is said to like Milwaukee.

Greinke, 27, was 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA last season. He won the AL Cy Young in 2009 after going 16-8 with 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts and in six seasons with the Royals, was 60-67 with a 3.82 ERA. He was drafted No. 6 overall in 2002. There are two years left on the four-year, $38 million contract he signed with the Royals in January 2009. He is due $13.5 million each of the final two seasons.

The Royals were looking for middle infield help and very much like the talented Escobar, who many believe underachieved as a rookie last year in Milwaukee. The Royals were also seeking pitching help and would have preferred to get a pitcher closer to the big leagues than Odirizzi, but he is said to have huge upside. Cain is highly-touted and was sought by several teams.

In all, Kansas City added to one of the more impressive lists of prospects in baseball. The Royals' top prospects include third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer, infielder Cristian Colon and catcher Wil Myers. Colon is seen as a possible shortstops but the importing of Escobar could force a move to second base for Colon, who should be ready in the near future. Most of the Royals' best prospects are a year away, though, which hastened Greinke's departure since he's only under contract for two more years.

The Royals came close to a trade with the Nationals earlier this winter, according to sources, but Greinke told the Royals he wouldn't go to Washington, halting those talks. The trade discussions with the Nats revolved around young right-hander Drew Storen, shortstop Daniel Espinosa and others, sources say. Greinke has expressed a desire to pitch for a winner and people familiar with his rejection of the Nats say he was not convinced they'd contend soon.

The Brewers, which earlier added pitcher Shaun Marcum, look like a contender in the NL Central now. Star first baseman Prince Fielder, previously thought to be a potential trade candidate this winter, looks certain to stay now. Milwaukee had been talking to Carl Pavano, who will now consider the Twins and perhaps the Nationals, Rangers or others.

"We were getting better with [Shaun] Marcum, now Greinke," Brewers outfielder Corey Hart said in a text message to The Associated Press. "Brewers are for real!"

The Blue Jays were another team that tried this winter to land Greinke, while the Rangers were among many other teams that talked to the Royals about the ace, who won the American League Cy Young award in 2009.

Greinke within the past several days told the Royals he's consider a trade to the Yankees even though they also were not on his list, but some family members were skeptical as to whether New York would be the right place for him, as were the Yankees. The reason Greinke was open to New York is that he wants to win. The teams talked a couple times in the past week but never came close to a trade.

The player to be named in the deal could change, depending on medicals. However, all sides are confident a deal will not be jeopardized.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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25 Comments

lol! wow! have fun!

this is a fun time. I would like to have a great time.

I wanted the phils' to get him,but lee is the best!

DAYTON MOORE IS AN IDIOT

Yes! I agree

Go Brewers! We needed pitching and we got it watch out for the Brewers! We have the hitting that you need to win a world series all we needed was pitching which we got in Grienke and also Markham.

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HorseHorse50, I apologize for that last comment. It was very foolish of me. I will not do that again. If anyone has any questions for me, I am a Bay Area, CA resident and will happily answer any Q's about the A's or Giants. Just post a reply to an article about baseball asking Wicked Web, or by brother ShortstopSlugger25 any Q's about baseball and one of us will reply.
-Wicked Web
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AwesomeShortstop65,

1)The Giants don't release or trade Aaron Rowand because:
a)they think he can still hit
b)they wish he could still hit
c)Nobody really wants Aaron Rowand
d)Brian Sabean is too lazy to trade him and Rowand is a "valued" player to the Giants so they don't want to trade or release him becasue he means too much" to the team.
---Good Q---
2)Honestly, I hope and think the A's will win the AL west.
--They have an amazing rotation wth lots of young talent.
--Their bullpen has so many great arms, that some of them are in AAA.
--They have an amazing farm system with so many amazing prospects
--Their defense is above average
--They have good player on the bench (Ryan Sweeney, Conner Jackson, Landon Powell, ect...)
--Matsui, Dejesus, and Willingham are offensive upgrade over Jack Cust and Rajai Davis
-The Rangers are my pick to finish second due to the fact that they lost cliff lee, will lose Vlad but I will admit they still can pull it off when they get Beltre.
-The Mariners are my pick to finish third in the division. THey have Ichiro, King Fielix, and Chone Figgins. Thy hve talent on the way and an amazing colser in Aardsma.
-The Angels will finsh last in the AL West. They lost out on Beltre, lost Matsui, don't have Vlad, and no chone Figgins. There is little power, although Kendrey Morales might prove me wrong.
------------------------------Thanks for the Q's ask more!

Here are a couple Qs for you.
1)Why do the Giants keep Aaron Rowand around? It doesn't look like he will get alot of at bats this year but he still can be a somewhat productive hitter with an excellent glove and the Giants are paying him 13 million this year to sit on the bench. Unfortunatly it would be tough to trade him with his salary but the Giants could probably bring in a prospect or two for him. Why don't they trade or release him?
2)Who is your pick for the AL West? All the teams have strong areas but none of them seem to be a clear favorite. The Rangers have great offense but a sub-par pitching staff. The Angels have an offense that seems to be in decline but a deep rotation. The A's have great pitching but seem to struggle offensivly (which might change with the aquisitions of Willingham and Matsui). And the Mariners who have the best pitcher in the league, have an awful offense but good defense.
I'm looking forward to hearing back from you!

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Yah!
Hey u HorseHorse50, what you smokin? you sound weird!
-Wicked Web
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Now the Brewers have a contending pitching corps with Gallardo and Marcum with a good offense of Fielder, Braun and Hart. If only the Brewers were in the west and they could capture the division.

Having their name be the Royals, has nothing to do with how good they are.

Who taught you comebacks anyway HorseHorse50?

GO BREWERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great trade and Prince is a beast

DO I REALLY SMELL THAT WEIRD BECAUSE I TAKE A SHOWER EVERY FEW YEARS BECAUSE I'M A BEAVER AND BEAVERS DON'T LIKE CHEEEEEEEEEESECAKE! MGMPAFAFJAFJA;FJ;AJDLJAKDLFJASLJF;LKFJAL;JALFKJ?

Dude u need to get off that crack. Quit posting stupid stuff

royals don't have a team now

I agree they did not have a team to begin with.

The Royals never even had a team to begin with.

OF COURSE THEY HAVE A TEAM! THAT'S WHY THERE'S STILL A TEAM CALLED THE ROYALS YOU MONKEYPIE WITH A SMALL CHERRY ON TOP. LALALALALALALALALALALALAD!

That was a very bad trade for the Royals. They traded their two best players, Greinke and Betancourt.

Baseballplaymaker87, you need to do some research. I do not believe that age was a difference maker in the Royal's decision to trade Greinke and Betencourt since they are 27 and 28 years old. Grienke was tied for the youngest pitcher in their starting rotation and Betencourt was the third youngest regular starter in the Royals lineup. I believe that the reason was more around Grienke's desire to be traded. He expressed that the he wanted a trade and the Royals were shopping him around anyway. The Royals aren't going to contend right now so they might as well get some prospects for the future. I don't think that trading Betencourt was a good move though. Betencourt led the Royals in homeruns and tied for the team lead in RBIs and the Royals recieved a hitter that will hit for a high average but with little power. The Royals were 2nd in the league last year in average behind the Rangers but were 3rd to last in homeruns and 5th to last in RBIs. The Royals traded away what little power they had for another player that has traits that the Royals don't need.

dude, greike's 27.

Ok misster Pingpongfox7, ur obviously not a baseball fan. The reason they traded Geinke was because #1 His record last year was aweful. Some ppl might say its because he did not get any run support, which is true about some games the other games he got pretty good run support. #2 Was because Greinke is like in his 30s, so hes pretty much past his "Blossom", they needed some youngsters to come in and provide some chemistry. Same with Betancourt.

LeaderUltra, you're right about Butler.

as a white sox fan, im not sure that was too good a trade for us. sure, the best pitcher in the division is gone, but they added two future all stars to the division.

btw, pingpong, yuniesky betancourt has nothing on billy butler.

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