Monday, January 3, 2011

Milwaukee Brewers acquire Zack Greinke: Reaction

Wow… in a shocking twist to the Zack Greinke saga, it’s all over. The team that dealt away top prospect Brett Lawrie to Toronto in a deal that was supposed to bump Toronto’s odds of landing the superstar and negate Milwaukee’s chances, has pulled it off.

Here are the full details:

Brewers receive Zack Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt and $2M.

Royals receive Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and two top pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffries and Jake Odorizzi.

To me, this leads to a few important points to consider, all of which will shape the 2011 MLB season dramatically.

1. Milwaukee is going for it all in 2011, Prince Fielder is very unlikely to be traded until the trade deadline if the Brewers are out of it and unless the other team is willing to give up major-league established talent.

2. Is Greinke really going to be happy with his new team? Are the Brewers still going to only win 80 games in 2011? While I think that his motivation and anxiety disorders are both largely over-hyped, it’s hard to look past this. Greinke wanted to go to a contender, but it’s tough to gauge whether or not Milwaukee is that team.

3. The Brewers now pretty much do not have anything resembling a farm system. Odorizzi and Lawrie were their two top prospects a month ago and even they weren’t totally elite propsects… Milwaukee now perhaps have a farm system worse than Houston.

4. Royals will be terrible again in 2011 (think 65 wins max) but will be contenders to take the division in 2012 and by 2014 could win the world series. Milwaukee really matched up perfectly with KC as a trade partner, they needed up the middle talent and boy did they get it. Alcides Escobar and others will team up with the deepest farm system in perhaps 10 years (Hosmer, Myers, Lamb, Montgomery and Moustakas are all top 25 overall prospects and all of their top ten are worth of top 100 overall consideration. And much of it is ready for a 2011 call-up).

Scary. It’ll be hard for even the Royals to mess up the huge amount of talent they have coming up in the minors.

5. Yet… the Royals now lack some pitching, they may decide to trade one of Hosmer or Myers (both of whom are projected to end up at first, although Myers is currently a catcher) for pitching. But really, with those bats, they’ll need nothing more than stopgaps if all of them reach their full potential.

6. And now with Toronto… we’ll be okay. Greinke would really have just been gravy to add to our impressive pitching depth, we needed an ace but somebody in our organization is sure to make that leap. Whether that’s Morrow or somebody on the farm (Stewart, McGuire, Aaron Sanchez perhaps) has yet to be determined.

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