The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have pushed their cards to the center of the table. They are all in for the 2012 season.
The Angels entered Friday’s action five games back of the Texas Rangers in the American League West, and hold the top wild-card spot by half a game over the Oakland Athletics.
They are right in the thick of the race and now are one of the most star-studded teams in baseball. But, did they give up too much?
Los Angeles Angels: B
Greinke is going to be a horse for the Angels and is now a key component of their playoff rotation.
In 21 starts, he has a 9-3 record with a 3.44 ERA and 1.20 WHIP while allowing 28 walks compared to 122 strikeouts in 123 innings pitched.
The 28-year-old has lived up to the stats on the back of his baseball card this season and should provide a huge jolt to a rotation that has been held back by the struggles of Dan Haren (7-8, 4.76 ERA) and Ervin Santana (4-10, 6.00 ERA).
What makes this deal even better is that Greinke won the 2009 Cy Young as a member of the Kansas City Royals, so the adjustment to switching leagues won’t be so drastic.
They are a much better team today, but you have to wonder if a potential three-month rental was worth such a heavy load.
Milwaukee Brewers: A-
What a move by the Brewers.
They are clearly out of the playoff hunt, were unlikely to re-sign Greinke in free agency this offseason and need to start the rebuilding process now.
According to Baseball America, the Brewers landed three of the Angels top-10 prospects .
Jean Segura, 22, has a .294/.346/.404 line with 10 doubles, seven homers and 33 stolen bases this season in Double-A, and was recently promoted this week. The second basemen/shortstop will be given at-bats right away.
Johnny Hellweg, 23, has a 3.38 ERA in 119.2 innings in Double-A and may be called upon to make a few September starts. Ariel Pena, 23, sports a 2.99 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 114.1 innings in Double-A.
While major-league success is no guarantee, they landed a guy in Segura who is on the right track to being an everyday player, and two pitchers who have the ability to be middle-of-the rotation cogs.
Not bad for a guy they were going to lose in three months either way.
ESPN Stats and Info provides some interesting stats for Angel fans:
Zack Greinke's career ERA against AL West foes—Athletics (3.00), Rangers (2.81), Mariners (2.27).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 28, 2012
While the Angels may have given out two mega-deals to Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson this past season, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports believes they have the ability to keep Greinke beyond this year:
And remember: Zack Greinke has high regard for #Angels and likely would be amenable to extension there.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 27, 2012
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale believes the Rangers were incredibly close to landing Greinke:
Count the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay in the group that believes L.A. gave up too much for a player who could leave in three months. He compared it to the Reds' farm system:
Angels gave up their 2, 4 and 9 prospects for Greinke. In #Reds terms, that's Hamilton, Corcino and Sulbaran, i.e. a lot for a rental.— John Fay (@johnfayman) July 28, 2012
Hamilton has stolen over 100 bases this season in Single- and Double-A.
Fox Sports radio host Ben Maller has the details on just how productive Greinke was as a member of the Brew Crew:
Zack Greinke ends Brewers career 15-0 with 2.89 ERA in 24 career Miller Park home games, including 23 starts (149.2ip, 48er)
— Ben Maller (@benmaller) July 28, 2012
Right now, this trade has two winners.
If the Angels can’t re-sign Greinke, or the three prospects turn out to be busts, things change. For now, both teams should feel satisfied.
The Angels have their eyes on a World Series ring this season, and the Brewers desperately needed to hit the reset button.
Are the Angels now the favorites over Texas and the New York Yankees in the American League?