MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Zack Greinke Fill-ins for Brewers If He's Gone Long-Term

J. David Lee@jdavidlee19Contributor IIIMarch 15, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Zack Greinke Fill-ins for Brewers If He's Gone Long-Term

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    Most Milwaukee Brewers fans were thrilled with the offseason acquisition of former American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke. Following the trade for Toronto ace Shaun Marcum, the move helped address the Brewers' biggest weakness from 2010.

    There were concerns regarding the trade. The Brewers sent two starters and two top prospects to the Royals in exchange for Greinke, leaving the farm system depleted and creating some depth problems on the big league club.

    At his opening press conference, Greinke made no friends among Milwaukee fans when he indicated a preference for the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl. All would be forgiven, however, if he came out and led the Brewers into the postseason.

    Two sub-par spring outings were followed by the news that Greinke had injured himself playing basketball and would start the season on the disabled list and probably miss his first three starts.

    If that's the case, his injury will not prove problematic for the Brewers. There's no telling, though, how seemingly minor injuries will affect a pitcher. If he ends up missing a substantial number of games, he will put the Brewers in a bind to find a long term replacement.

    Here are 10 options to fill that void.

Manny Parra

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    Manny Parra vied for a rotation spot in 2010, but was shuttled to the bullpen. Once there, the left-hander had a four to five mile per hour jump with his fastball.

    While he was only 3-10 with an ERA of 5.02, he did strike out 129 hitters in 122 innings.

    Parra is a long shot, as he's had a bad back throughout spring training.

Wily Peralta

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    Two years ago, Wily Peralta was a highly touted 19-year-old, breezing through the Brewers' system. He is still highly thought of, but there have been some question marks.

    He has struck out a hitter per inning on average and has a lively fastball. He uses his slider as an out pitch and occasionally throws the curveball. The problem lies with his control. He's walked over four hitters per nine innings in the minor leagues, and he's never pitched above Double-A.

    He's getting a hard look in camp, but would be more of a short term option than a long term deal.

Eulogio De La Cruz

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    De La Cruz finds himself in Brewers' camp after not pitching in 2010. He was released by the Padres in December of 2009.

    Signed by the Tigers in 2001 out of the Dominican Republic, De La Cruz made it to the big leagues in 2007 but failed to catch on long term. After stints with the Marlins in 2008 and the Padres in 2009, he's trying to a spot on the Brewers' roster.

    It would seem that De La Cruz would have little chance to make the team, let alone the rotation, but manager Ron Roenicke did mention that he was still in the running.

Marco Estrada

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    Marco Estrada is trying to make the most of a second chance.

    Drafted by the Nationals in the sixth round in 2005 out of Long Beach State, the right-hander progressed through their minor league system. After playing short season Single-A in the New York Penn League in 2005, Estrada quickly rose, pitching in two leagues each year, until being called up to the big leagues in 2008. He made four appearances for the Nationals in 2009, but pitched mostly for Syracuse in Triple-A.

    He was claimed off of waivers by the Brewers in February of 2010. After starting the season in Nashville, Estrada made his Brewers' debut on  May 18th. He got nine consecutive outs before giving up a solo home run to Joey Votto. He spent much of the remainder of the season on the DL.

    In three appearances this spring, he has an ERA of 2.25.

Bartolo Colon

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    If the Brewers are forced to find a long term solution, they may have to consider some alternative options. They may have to look at pitchers who have been in camp with another big league club, but didn't make the roster. After going through camp, their arm would be in shape and it would be less work than picking someone up who hasn't pitched.

    One such option could be Bartolo Colon. Although it appears he ate a medium sized farm animal, he's thrown the ball decently in Yankee camp this spring. He could be available to the Brew Crew.

Pedro Martinez

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    Ok, this is real wish list stuff, but since we're being hypothetical, why not?

    Let's sign Pedro.

    His resume speaks for itself. He is a winner and he probably still has enough left to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.

    He'd also be a great addition to a young pitching staff. He might even get Greinke to smile.

Kevin Millwood

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    I know what you're thinking. Not this guy. He's done. He's toast.

    You're right. He is.

    But he's available and I had to have 10 guys.

Jeremy Bonderman

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    The word is that Bonderman may sit out the 2011 season because he can't get a deal he wants.

    I guess there's not much of a market for a guy who went 8-10 last year with an ERA over six for the second half.

    Bonderman has been through injuries, but may still be capable of filling the gap until Zack returns.

Charlie Sheen

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    Number 99 is probably available.

    He is serious about WINNING...DUH!

Mark Rogers

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    Probably the best solution for the Brewers is in their own camp.

    Mark Rogers is the top pitching prospect in the Brewers system.

    The big right-hander has been troubled this spring with a sore back, but has made his first appearance on the mound and seems healthy. He would have almost three weeks before he had to make his first start and that's time to get him ready if he was needed.

    After battling injuries and recovering from two different surgeries in his minor league career, Rogers is on the cusp of making the big league club.

    His performance will determine if he stays.