Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brew Crew Playing Some Hardball

From Tim Dierkes of Major League Trade Rumors this morning:

"The Brewers acquired ace righty Zack Greinke from the Royals, confirms ESPN's Buster Olney. Milwaukee will reportedly send shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress (who may be replaced by a PTBNL) and Jake Odorizzi to the Royals for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, and $2MM."

"The move represents the second major pitching acquisition of the winter for the Brewers, who previously traded top prospect Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum. The Brewers had long indicated a desire to shore up a starting rotation whose 4.65 ERA ranked near the bottom of the National League in 2010. Moving a handful of young players in the two trades, while hanging on to Prince Fielder, suggests that the club feels they can immediately contend in the NL Central."

Now the Brewer rotation consists of Grienke, Marcum, Yovani Gallardo, Randy Wolf, and Chris Narveson with Chris Capuano in reserve. Kinda puts the Kevin Correia - Scott Olsen deals in perspective, hey?

It didn't come cheap. Greinke has two years left on his contract at $13.5M per season before he becomes a free agent in 2013. Marcum is under team control for two more years also, hitting free agency in 2013. He's in his second arb year and made $850K in 2010. The Brewers are talking to him about a contract extension.

Fangraphs Marc Hulet takes a look at the guys Milwaukee sent to the Royals, and his take is that it represents quantity over quality.

"There are no can’t miss prospects and no blue-chip, young stars. You have a raw, potential No. 2 or 3 starter, an eighth- or ninth-inning reliever, a slick-fielding, light-hitting infielder, and a speedy centerfielder with contact issues."

It's actually a package the Pirates probably could have matched except for the middle infielder, which was on top of KC's trading wish list. Of course, it doesn't make much sense to get a pitcher who will become an unaffordable free agent just about the time when the pieces for your team are hopefully falling in place.

We wonder if we'll be shufflin' along this mortal coil long enough to see the Pirates swing a deal like this.

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