Zack Greinke Traded: A Closer Look at the Newest Royals

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IDecember 20, 2010

Zack Greinke Traded: A Closer Look at the Newest Royals

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 05:  Alcides Escobar #21 of the Milwaukee Brewers runs to first on a hit against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    After much speculation, the Kansas City Royals finally traded their star pitcher Zack Greinke on Sunday morning, sending shock waves through the rest of the baseball world.

    He was traded along with Kansas City's starting shortstop from last season, Yuniesky Betancourt, in exchange for four players. Many have begun to wonder who ended up getting the better end of the deal in this one, but it is just way too early to tell at this point.

    While there are unknowns to what the Royals got in return for Greinke, they did receive a new starting shortstop for next season in the young, talented Alcides Escobar.

    Now, let's take a more in-depth look at what the Royals really got and you can let you mind wander from there.

Alcides Escobar

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    ST. LOUIS - JULY 4: Alcides Escobar #21 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws to first base against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 4, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Brewers 7-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    As I mentioned previously, new Royal Alcides Escobar will likely be Betancourt's replacement at shortstop, and the 24-year old still has a lot of upside.

    He will bring much more speed to the position, as he stole 10 bases in his first full major league season and also nabbed 176 bases in six seasons in the minor leagues.

    In his rookie season last year, he batted only .235, but was third in the NL with 10 triples and showed some promise at the plate at times.

    It should be fun to see how he develops as a player this season and how he will fare in an entirely new division and league.

    2010 Projected Team and Role: Royals Starting Shortstop

Lorenzo Cain

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    MARYVALE, AZ - MARCH 01:  Lorenzo Cain #36 poses for a portrait during the Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day at the Maryvale  Baseball Park on March 1, 2010 in Maryvale, Arizona.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

    Royals GM Dayton Moore mentioned earlier this offseason that he was looking for outfield prospects in potential trades and he got a good one in former Brewers prospect Lorenzo Cain.

    The former 17th-round pick Cain has shown the ability to do about everything so far in the minors.

    He can hit for average (.291 career mark in minors), get on base (.366 career OBP) and also steal some bases with 124 swipes in 159 attempts.

    The sky is the limit for this kid and if all goes well, he should be in KC sooner rather than later.

    2010 Projected Team: Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers

Jeremy Jeffress

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 30:  Jeremy Jeffress #41 of the Milwaukee Brewers watches their game against the New York Mets on September 30, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Brewers defeated the Mets 9-2.
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Jeffress is arguably the most talented played the Royals acquired in this six-player trade.

    He had an amazing season last year playing for three of Milwaukee's minor league teams as he posted an anemic 2.23 ERA for the year, while striking out an amazing 43 hitters in just 32.1 innings pitched for the season.

    The only downside about Jeffress is that he has had some drug problems in the past that has led to three suspensions from MLB, including one that was for 50 games in 2007.

    If or when he straightens out his act, Jeffress could impact the big league team in a big way in the near future.

    2010 Projected Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals

Jake Odorizzi

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    Odorizzi, the former first-round pick of the Brewers in the 2008 MLB draft, is a very talented right-handed starting pitcher who has a chance to have a long future in Kansas City.

    He has been known to have a solid fastball already and his 9.4 K/9 ratio in his minor league career could have something to do with his use of this pitch.

    In the '09 season, he went 7-3 while posting a stellar 3.43 ERA and striking out 135 hitters while walking just 40 in 120-plus innings pitched.

    2010 Projected Team: Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals