The trade had to happen. Sooner than the later Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore was going to hit the "accept" button and send Zack Greinke packing. The trade talk was becoming tiresome, so on Sunday, the deal was made. Not with the New York Yankees or the Texas Rangers or even the Washington Nationals or Toronto Blue Jays. Zack Greinke is a Milwaukee Brewer.
Who did the Royals get? A collection of four players that casual baseball fans have probably never heard of, including two pitching prospects.
Here's the deal: the Royals get shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. In the exchange, the Royals shipped off shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations.
ESPN's report says the move makes the Brewers a contender next season, although they "gutted their farm system" to get Greinke. As for the Royals, the package of players has already been called "a little meager" and "Mark Teixeira Lite," a nod to the prototypical deal Moore was trying to pull off. Sitll, Moore told reporters that the expectation is "to be competitive next year."
So a guy who "struggled at the plate," a guy who merely showed up for work, a top minor league pitcher and a guy TWICE suspended for smoking the reefer.
Escobar was the Brewers' primary shortstop last season but struggled at the plate, batting .235 with 41 RBIs. Cain played 43 games for the Brewers last season, batting .306 with 13 RBIs.
Jeffress made 10 appearances for the Brewers last season, going 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He has been suspended twice under baseball's drug policy.
Odorizzi was perhaps the Brewers' top minor league pitching prospect, and agent Jason Wood said the team tried "very hard" to keep his client out of the deal.