Two Milwaukee websites are reporting the Milwaukee Brewers have tentatively reached an agreement with the Kansas City Royals to acquire right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke. The trade is pending a physical by Greinke and could be announced on Monday.
Earlier in the offseason, it was thought the Brewers didn't have the proper pieces to complete a trade for the former AL Cy Young Award winner. In fact, the Brewers traded their top prospect, Brett Lawrie, to the Blue Jays for starter Shawn Marcum.
In turn, the Brewers will send shortstop Alcides Escobar, centerfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi to the Royals. Escobar was thought to be the shortstop of the future, which led to the trade of J.J. Hardy to the Twins last offseason for centerfielder Carlos Gomez. Gomez was splitting time in center with Cain this season, who was also mentioned in trade talks with the Atlanta Braves.
Jeremy Jeffress has been a top pitching prospect for the Brewers for several years, but he has had problems with substance abuse and has twice been suspended for marijuana use. Jake Odorizzi was ranked as the organization's top-rated pitching prospect, but he's never pitched above low Single-A ball for the Brewers.
Greinke would pair with Yovani Gallardo to form a very formidable one-two punch for the Brewers. Along with the recently acquired Marcum and a returning Randy Wolf, the Brewers would suddenly have four very capable starting pitchers. Are they the equal of the Four Aces in Philly? Of course not, but the Brewers would certainly have the pitching ammunition to compete with the Cardinals and Reds for the Central Division title in 2011.
If nothing else, give Brewers GM Doug Melvin credit for being a man of his word. His stated goal during the past two years has been to improve the pitching. He only brought in one quality starter last winter, but with Marcum and possibly Greinke this year, he has turned the Brewers into a very balanced team.
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