Zack Greinke Trade Has Potential To Change Fortunes of Kansas City Royals
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Zack Greinke is gone. Another small-market hero traded to greener pastures elsewhere. Kansas City Royals fans (all 2,000 or so who are left) are distraught, outraged and sad.
The only player on the roster fans would purchase a game-day ticket to watch will now be taking his magical pitching prowess to the Milwaukee Brewers. Good luck, Zack. You wanted a chance to win, and we’ll see how you compete for a team that is now the favorite to win the NL Central.
Even though I thought it was a huge mistake to trade Greinke, as front-line starting pitchers are the single hardest talent to acquire and cultivate, this trade has the potential of being great for these three reasons.
Shortstop Is the Quarterback of Baseball Defense
Great defense is key to winning championships
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The good news is that the Royals jettisoned the worst defensive shortstop in the game in Yuniesky Betancourt. The Brewers may have picked up a 20-game winner, but Betancourt will easily cost them 10-plus victories with his stiff-legged 3-foot range.
The Royals acquired a young, major league-ready defensive shortstop in Alcides Escobar. It will not take long for fans to appreciate the stability he brings to the middle of the diamond. Escobar will struggle at the plate, but he does have the speed to disrupt pitchers when he gets on base.
Royals Big Three?
New York's winning trio Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Derek Jeter
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The Royals also got a young, almost major league-ready center fielder in Lorenzo Cain, who also provides a huge defensive upgrade. He has the potential to provide decent power numbers and steal some bases along the way.
With catcher Will Myers steadily progressing towards the major league, the Royals just might have the makings of a solid middle core of players that will provide an above-average, run-saving defense. The fantastic teams of the New York Yankees in the '90s were led by a solid middle core of Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada.
Maybe, just maybe, the Royals got two-thirds of a dynamic trio.
Continous Player Development Is Key
Dayton Moore and the rest of the Royals front office need to keep acquiring young talent
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The Royals major league payroll was reduced by roughly $16 million, and with the wave of young talent getting ready to hit, it will only be lowered more and more.
The Royals front office has spent huge dollars in player development and scouting since Dayton Moore took over as GM, and that trend needs to get even more aggressive.
With the excess cash at their disposal, the Royals will be able to overpay and scour the world to find talent to keep the minor league pipeline full and producing.