Zack Greinke is a Milwaukee Brewer

Who saw this one coming?

Zack Greinke, 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner.

The Milwaukee Brewers’ rotation makeover was completed today after they traded SS Alcides Escobar, CF Lorenzo Cain, top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi, and former first round draft pick Jeremy Jeffress to the Royals for Zack Greinke, SS Yuniesky Betancourt, and cash.

You all know the story on Greinke.  Had a solid rookie year in 2004, finishing fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.  Struggled in ’05.  Left camp in ’06 due to an anxiety disorder.  Returned, first to the Kansas City bullpen, then to the rotation.  In 2009, he turned in one of the most dominant pitching performances of the last decade, winning the Cy Young award and going 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA, 3 shutouts, 181 K, 55 BB, and a 1.073 WHIP.  He regressed a little in 2010, but reports came out of him being unmotivated and frustrated with the Royals constant rebuilding process.

Now, he is a Milwaukee Brewer, and joins a staff that will likely look like this on opening day:

  • Zack Greinke (2010 Kansas City opening day starter)
  • Yovani Gallardo (2010 Milwaukee opening day starter)
  • Shaun Marcum (2010 Toronto opening day starter)
  • Randy Wolf
  • Chris Narveson

Wolf all of the sudden seems a lot better as a number 4 instead of a 2, doesn’t he?  With this trade, the Brewers launch themselves into (arguably) the top three rotations in the NL, behind Philadelphia’s Halladay-Lee-Oswalt-Hamels dream team and the reigning World Series Champion Lincecum-Cain-Sanchez-Bumgarner rotation.  Combining the Brewers mostly unaffected offense with this new look rotation, Milwaukee may have put themselves firmly into the number two slot in the National League behind Philadelphia.

You have to think that this move makes Milwaukee the favorites to win the NL Central and return to the playoffs.  Milwaukee’s offense has been very good the last several years, and with the only departures being Escobar (.235/.288/.326) and Cain (who only played in the majors for six months), there is no reason to think that they cannot continue to score as many runs as they have been.  With the major rotation upgrades, on paper, Milwaukee appears to have moved ahead of Cincinatti and St. Louis in the Central.

Yes, the cupboards on the farm are currently pretty bare.  It sucks that we had to part with our top pitching prospect, and I was an especially big fan of Lorenzo Cain and am sad to see him go (and even more sad knowing I’ll have to watch signficantly more Carlos Gomez at bats than I was planning on), but prospects are just that, prospects – they may not pan out (see: C.C. Sabathia trade of 2008).  If this gets the Brewers into division races and potential playoff games the next two years, I’m all for it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: