Blog Entry

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

Posted on: December 19, 2010 11:46 am
Edited on: December 19, 2010 2:13 pm
So, with Zack Greinke gone to Milwaukee, where does that leave the Royals?

For one, it leaves them in rough shape in the rotation as the team figures to roll out a Luke Hochevar-Kyle Davies-Vin Mazzaro-Sean O'Sullivan set along with presumably Bruce Chen if both sides can come to an agreement on the lefty resigning in town.

That's a rotation that will lose quite a few games, but the value in the Greinke deal is on the offensive side of the ball, plus the future of its pitching. The club is reportedly acquiring Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for center fielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi and a player to be named later, -- and its not Jeremy Jeffress, as the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 's Tom Haudricourt adds. The Royals are also sending along $2 million to Milwaukee for Betancourt's 2012 buyout, as the team will almost certainly not pick up the $6 million option as Haudricourt reveals. The much-maligned shortstop is due $4 million in 2011 and will step in as Milwaukee's starting shortstop.

Cain Cain (pictured) should slide into center field and give the team a much-needed young player as the deep minor-league system has no viable alternative.  The marks against Cain are that he will be 25 years old with only 43 games experience in the majors and 22 in Triple-A. However, Cain hit .306/.348/.415 for the Brew Crew in 158 plate appearances and overtook Carlos Gomez for the starting center-field job. Cain isn't exactly oozing with tools, but according to some in the know, could be a valuable commodity for a long time and one whose age shouldn't be held against him as Cain only started playing baseball as a sophomore in high school -- with zero experience. Peter Gammons tweeted that Jim Fregosi told the Royals "when you trade Greinke, the one player you'd better get is Cain."

Escobar is a talented young shortstop but collasped under the weight of expectations in 2010. Expected to be the starting shortstop for K.C., he hit just .235/.288/.326 in 552 plate appearances and just 10 stolen bases along with disappointing defense for someone who was so heralded in that area. The year before, however, the newly-turned 24-year-old hit .304/.333/.368 in 134 PA. Escobar is a good gamble for a team who has Christian Colon years away from the farm and in a position so thin on quality options. The Brewers, for one, feel that Escobar can and will develop into one of the best shortstops in the game.

Odorizzi ranks atop Baseball America 's Top 10 Brewers prospect list and robs the club of one of the majors' best pitchg prospects. Hey, at least Greinke's a pretty nice consolation prize. The 20-year-old posted a 3.43 ERA in 120 2/3 innings for Class A, punching out 135 and walking just 40. The right-hander's pitching coach in Class A compared Odorizzi to a certain someone when speaking to Rob Brainerd of in July:

"I think he’s got four above average pitches," confirmed [Chris] Hook. "Does he need to improve his changeup? Yeah. But I think, and I hate to put a name with him, he’s like a Zack Greinke to me. That type of pitcher that can command the strike zone."

As for the player to be named, popular sentiment had Jeremy Jeffress as part of the deal. Both sides continue to haggle over the PBTNL, but the 100-mph throwing Jeffress apparently will stay in Milwaukee and could be a big part of the Brewers's bullpen in 2011. Jeffress has a history of marijuana use that caused two suspensions.

So who could the PBTNL be? Assuming that it's another top prospects, options include third baseman Mat Gamel, catcher Jonathan LuCroy, outfielder Kentrail Davis, second baseman Scooter Gennett or pitchers Eric Arnett, Mark Rogers, Amaury Rivas, Cody Scarpetta, Zach Braddock and Kyle Heckathorn.

The Royals did well here to acquire players that fit with their timeline of contention, as their top prospects are going to be filtering into the majors over the next few years and will be able to play together with a strong core. Suddenly, the 2014 club in K.C. looks like it could be quite the threat.

UPDATE : Some conflicting reports on the why, but Baseball Prospects' Kevin Goldstein and Haudricourt both agree that Jeffress seems to indeed be the PTBNL. Goldstein says the hangup is on a non-drug related issue while Haudricourt says K.C. is reviewing Jeffress' drug history.

UPDATE : Jeffress is now a Royal, as Haudricourt says. This makes the deal better from K.C.'s perspective, but it lacks that top-quality, can't-miss prospect that tends to be (should?) part of a deal for a young Cy Young Award-winning pitcher with two years left on the deal.

-- Evan Brunell

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 20, 2011 1:46 am

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

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Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2010 6:29 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

No that is a fan who is educated and knows something about the farm system and what lies ahead. This is not Jermaine Dye for Nefi Perez. The Royals got good haul for Grienke who in my opinion was a bit overrated. He won a Cy Young in a very down year and his career shows that he is still very inconsitent. I am not happy to see him go but I do like what we got in retun. Go Royals!

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: December 19, 2010 6:47 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

Meche decided not to have surgery and instead just be used as a reliever this year because his arm can't take more than an inning or two. Bullpen could be a strength, it looks like it will have to be.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 19, 2010 4:32 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

Time out, ravens!  I'm more than happy to bash my Orioles when they've done stupid things over the years but you've lost me on this one.  What young arms have the Orioles "unloaded" that were worth anything or that did anything somewhere else?  Other than Mike Mussina who walked after close to a decade in orange and black and took the Yankee green, who have we lost in trades or releases that has been worth a damn?  I can't think of one quality pitcher the Orioles have let go who burned us by getting better with somebody else's uniform on. 

Chris Ray was traded for Kevin Millwood.  Based on how Millwood threw for us, the deal ended up stinking.  However, Ray didn't do much in Texas, is a free agent today, and is actually talking with the O's about returning.

B.J. Ryan really showed promise out of the bullpen but ended up taking a grotesque amount of money from Toronto that wouldn't have made much sense if we matched the contract and kept him around.  Now Ryan ended up blowing out his elbow and is out looking for work after being relaesed by the Cubbies back in August.

Find me another quality arm the O's had in the system or on the roster that amounted to something else on somebody's elses team.

Since: Oct 11, 2010
Posted on: December 19, 2010 2:50 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 19, 2010 2:47 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

Agreed this year will suck BUT within 2 years our team will be as good as any.

Haha Wow. Now there's a fan who looks at the glass half-full.

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: December 19, 2010 2:38 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

I agree. Pitching is where its at.  The brewers now have a really good looking staff to go with a decent hitting team.  I love the Royals, which started back with them playing the Yanks in the mid 70's. (Red Sox fan).  They have a great farm, but you have to keep the produce to make a great feast and the Royals are stirring an empty pot all of the time.

Since: Dec 19, 2010
Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:41 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

Starblazer you are a joke, what do the brewers know about winning?  Greinke is a head case and when you start losing he will give up on your team and become a cancer. Good luck he's your problem now thanks for the prospects and taking Yuni aka the worst shortstop in base.

Since: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:28 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

The marks against Cain are that he will be 25 years old with only 43 games experience in the majors and 22 in Triple-A.

What the article doesn't mention is that Cain was a fast track guy and probably would have been the Brewers starting CF'er two years ago, but a knee injury and the subsequent recovery essentially added up to two lost seasons for him.

Watching him last year after he got to the majors.........

The Royals got a guy who is going to be REALLY good.

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: December 19, 2010 1:05 pm

Royals deepen club in Greinke haul

I understand why people think the Royals are pitiful...maybe because they are (or have been for years).  However, Greinke DEMANDED a trade and the Royals shopped the hell out of him.  This was the best deal they could get.  They actually had other offers they would have done but Greinke blocked those deals with his no-trade clause (Washington was one).  To address this deal specifically, not only was this the best offer out there, these players fit into the KC timeline.  It is almost universally accepted that the Royals have the top (or near the top) minor league system now, and if owner David Glass won't spend any money improving the team then they have to try to grow the talent and keep it as long as possible.  GM Dayton Moore knows his owner sucks but he's trying to make the best of the situation.

Anyway, overall I would rate this deal a 7.5 out of 10, with considerable upside if Odorizzi turns out to be near-Greinke-like as many are predicting.  Time will tell but for now I'm giving Moore the benefit of the doubt on this one.

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