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Zack Greinke was acquired and traded by the Brewers in an 18-month span. How did they make out in the deals?
What we knew first was nothing. What we knew next was that Zack Greinke was going from the Brewers to the Angels, and that Jean Segura and two pitchers were going from the Angels to the Brewers. Now we have all of the details. The Angels are up one ace, and the Brewers are up three pretty good prospects.
Before the year, Baseball America ranked Mike Trout the No. 1 prospect in the Angels' system, of course. They ranked Jean Segura No. 2, Johnny Hellweg No. 4, and Ariel Pena No. 9. Segura is a 22-year-old shortstop. Hellweg is a 23-year-old righty who stands 6-foot-9. Pena is a 23-year-old righty.
The word on Segura is that he has a super-quick bat and average range in the middle infield. Hellweg gets his fastball into the mid- and upper-90s, with developing secondary stuff, which shouldn't come as a surprise since he's a relatively recent converted reliever. Pena is a fastball/slider guy with a live arm.
In terms of numbers, Segura has posted an above-average OPS in his first exposure to double-A. Hellweg owns a 3.38 ERA over 21 starts, but his strikeouts are low and his wildness has been high. Pena owns a 2.99 ERA over 19 starts, with nearly a strikeout an inning. None of these prospects are sure-fire awesome, but this is a talented haul for the Brewers given that Greinke was all but gone in two months, and God help us if Hellweg ever figures out what to do with his dangerous pitches. The stuff is there and the control is not yet, if you consider stuff and control to be unrelated.
There were four teams reportedly making serious runs for Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke, with other teams on the fringes of the discussion. The early reports, though, suggest the Los Angeles Angels have won the sweepstakes:
Jean Segura entered the 2012 season as the #55 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America. The 22-year-old shortstop is currently hitting .294/.346/.404 in Double-A.
Greinke will join an Angels rotation that already includes C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver. Dan Haren would be the fourth starter, which is kind of gaudy if he reverts to form. Jerome Williams, Garrett Richards, and Ervin Santana have all made starts for the Angels over the past ten days, and two of them will likely be back in the bullpen.
According to T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers had a chance to acquire Greinke, but they were unwilling to part with third-base prospect Mike Olt.
Who is interested in Zack Greinke? Here's a look at four teams that would be interested in the prized right-hander.
Zack Greinke is officially available, and Jayson Stark has narrowed the list of serious suitors to just four teams:
But in reality, the market for Greinke appears to be narrowing itself primarily to four clubs: the Rangers, Angels, White Sox and Braves.
Teams that have spoken with the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Dodgers say they're not involved on Greinke, for various reasons. The Indians and Orioles are now all but out of the rent-a-pitcher business, unless the price tag is too cheap to turn down. And the Cardinals seem to be leaning that way as well.
My money's on the White Sox, for the simple reason that they're in the middle of the closest race for a division title; granted, that can easily change before the trade deadline. But as Stark notes, it might not make much sense to trade two good minor-league prospects simply to boost your chances of getting into that one-game Wild Card playoff.
The Milwaukee Brewers have been playing coy with the idea of trading pending free-agent ace Zack Greinke, and for good reason. The team has been hoping to sign the right-hander to an extension, reportedly offering him over $100 million to stick around. But with the mega-deal to Cole Hamels, Greinke will be the only premium pitcher on the market this winter. And with him testing that market, the Brewers have finally conceded their intentions:
"We're taking phone calls," Melvin told WTMJ's Greg Matzek. "We've been working here. I'm in the office in the 'war room' already. It's a busy week. At this point we have to listen to opportunities to improve the ball club for the future and still try to win ball games now."
Asked by Matzek how many teams have contacted him about Greinke, Melvin said, "There's a lot of teams that make contact. You try to narrow the list down in that regard. You take the serious ones.
The Brewers would probably like to get back a package that's similar to the Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo Cain, and Jeremy Jeffress combo they sent over in the first place, but considering Greinke's pending free agency, that would be on the high side of expectations.
Two clouds, really.
There was the performance cloud: In his last four starts, Greinke had given up 15 runs in 14 innings. He'd struggled so badly that the Brewers gave him 10 days off between starts. He'd struggled so badly that suddenly there were some questions about his trade value.
There aren't as many questions now. Tuesday night, Greinke pitched seven sterling innings, giving up only three hits and one run without walking anyone at all.
Which brought the second cloud, the cloud of a possible trade, back in force.
The White Sox, eh?
The White Sox entered Wednesday's games in a dead tie with the Tigers atop the American League Central. Phil Humber, one of their starting pitchers, now sports a 6.25 ERA. So you can understand why the White Sox might be interested in a pitcher like Zack Greinke.
There’s no movement anywhere, says Jon Morosi:
It doesn’t appear there has been much dialogue between the Brewers and representatives for Greinke since spring training. As of Wednesday afternoon, there was no evidence that the team had made the 28-year-old a formal offer. And there isn’t much time left before the deadline for the sides to strike a deal.
Morosi says a Greinke deal could wind up being in the $100 million range for five seasons. But Greinke has been temporarily taken out of the Brewers’ rotation:
Greinke will have gone 10 days without pitching by the time he makes his next scheduled start, Tuesday in Philadelphia. Team officials concluded he needed to “(recharge) his batteries” after starting three consecutive games.
Of course, two of those games had the All-Star break in between them, and he was ejected from the third after just four pitches. It’s a mystery what the Brewers are doing with him; Morosi points out:
One argument in favor of spending that much on Greinke is that the Brewers are high on a number of the organization’s homegrown starting pitchers: Mike Fiers, Tyler Thornburg, Jed Bradley, and Taylor Jungmann. If enough of them pan out, the Brewers could have multiple low-cost starters for several years to come. That would enable them to carry Greinke’s high salary without sacrificing quality in other areas of the club.
On the other hand, if those young pitchers are really that good, would you even need to spend that much on Greinke?
We should know more in less than two weeks. And for more on the Brewers, please visit Brew Crew Ball.
At +81, the Texas Rangers have the best run differential in the major leagues. However, the morning of May 29, the Rangers had a run differential of +92, so clearly things have been a bit of a struggle of late as hitters have regressed and pitchers have gotten injured. With the trade deadline looming, are the Rangers looking for a boost? You bet your trousers they are! A pretty substantial one, writes Danny Knobler:
The Rangers have lost the last two World Series, and they believe their best chance of getting back and winning it is to add a true ace atop their rotation. They have focused primarily on Hamels and secondarily on Greinke, but there's no guarantee that they can get either one.
Knobler writes a lot about the Rangers re-connecting with Cliff Lee, but that's basically speculation so we can ignore it for now. There's more meat to the Hamels and Greinke rumors, as the Rangers would like to add an ace to the front of their rotation down the stretch. As far as Hamels is concerned, he could become available, although the Phillies are reportedly trying to re-sign him. Greinke also isn't readily available on the market, as the Brewers are on the fringes of the race, but if they don't make up more room quick then Greinke could get moved somewhere for a haul.
Plenty of teams want things they never get. The Rangers might reach August without having added a starting pitcher of considerable value, if they add a starter at all. But don't think the Rangers won't sniff around the most expensive cheeses. They are a people of wealth, and of exceptional taste.
As baseball players go, Zack Greinke might be the very most difficult one to understand. Which seems to have led people to believe they understand him.
The Milwaukee Brewers are still hoping they can sign Zack Greinke to an extension. Feels like that should go atop every Greinke trade rumor. There are still two weeks before the non-waiver trade deadline. The Brewers will be actively engaging Greinke's agent, and they'll probably be competitive.
Buuuuuut, they have to prepare for the possibility that Greinke is determined to try this wacky free-agency idea out. And if that's the case, they might as well get some prospects for their ace. According to Jon Heyman, the White Sox are considering a move for the right-hander:
The surprising White Sox now have Zack Greinke on their radar, scoures said.
The first-place White Sox have established themselves as the favorite in the A.L. Central to the surprise of many, and they are said to be hoping to make another second big splash on the trade market. Their trade for third baseman Kevin Youkilis has been a major hit.
The Braves, Angels, Rangers, Orioles and other also are expected to be in the Greinke derby.
The White Sox also have the worst farm system in baseball according to John Sickels, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and FanGraphs, but other than that, I'm sure they're loaded with chips to trade to the Brewers. I'm sure Kenny Williams can do something ... and I'm just dying to see what it is.
Last week, Zack Greinke became the first pitcher since 1918 to start three games in a row for his team.
Yes, that happened and it was really strange.
Unfortunately, Greinke didn't pitch well in those three games. In the first, he was ejected after throwing four pitches. In the second and third, he got knocked out early. Overall, he gave up 10 runs in eight inning over the three games, his ERA jumping from 3.08 to 3.57 in an instant ... which made Tony La Russa look a bit smarter for not choosing Greinke for the All-Star Game.
Now, something's up:
Greinke's reportedly not scheduled to pitch in the Brewers' next series, either.
Two obvious possibilities:
1. Greinke, an obvious trade candidate, is moving to another club and soon.
2. Greinke's injured.
We'll know more shortly, but thought you would want to know what we do know, now.
Update: Third obvious possibility, which I should have mentioned before ...
Greinke does seem like the sort of pitcher who might occasionally need to "recharge his batteries" ... though it's sort of a strange thing to sit a supposedly healthy pitcher if you're trying to make the playoffs. And if you're not trying to make the playoffs, it would really be a strange thing to not trade Zack Greinke, who's quite probably going to walk as a free agent after the season.
The scuttlebutt around Zack Greinke these days mostly has to do with trade rumors. Considering he's a free agent after the season, and that the Brewers have been terrible this season, it makes a lot of sense that the Brewers would flip him for shiny prospects.
The problem is that Greinke is good at baseballing, and he's been the best pitcher for the Brewers this year. The Brewers would love to keep him, and according to Jon Heyman, they're going to make a concerted efford to do so:
The Milwaukee Brewers are believed willing to offer close to $100 million over five years to free-agent-to-be Zack Greinke, according to a person familiar with their thinking. But people close to the team hold little hope that Greinke will sign in mid-season with the Brewers to pass up free agency.
It's still exceptionally likely that Greinke will wait for the bidding war of free agency. But whether the Brewers trade him away or not, this might be a sign that they'll be one of the participants in the bidding war.
Perhaps the most-pursued starting pitcher on the market prior to the trade deadline will be Zack Greinke of the Milwaukee Brewers. It is no secret that the Brewers are shopping him around and he has already attracted interest from a number of different contending teams looking for a boost to their rotation that may put them over the top.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, although the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles are in the mix, the strongest and most realistic interest is coming from a pair of American Legue West rivals: the Los Angeles Angels and the Texas Rangers.
The Braves have been seen as a team that makes sense for Greinke. But the Angels are also noted by a person close to Greinke as "a perfect fit."
The Rangers, who have the most chips to deal, also have interest in star lefthander Cole Hamels as a trade target, and actually may prefer Hamels.
If the Rangers end up picking up Hamels and the Angels nab Greinke, the two-horse race in the AL West will get significantly more intense.
For more on the Zack Greinke situation, please stay tuned to this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding the Milwaukee Brewers, please visit Brew Crew Ball. For updates on the Los Angeles Angels, head on over to Halos Heaven or check out SB Nation Los Angeles.
Yes, teams are interested in Zack Greinke. If you were a team, wouldn't you be? If I were a team, I would be interested in Zack Greinke. Unless I were a team called Tony La Russa's Hair, in which case I would rather get Wade Miley or somebody.
Of course, it's very early, so early Greinke isn't even known to be available yet. The Brewers were said by a source likely to wait to see how they fair against division competition in the games following the All-Star break before deciding whether to sell.
It's the Brewers' chances I'd like to explore.
They're eight games out of first place, with three teams ahead of them. They've been outscored by 14 runs. And they've done all this despite wonderful seasons from Greinke, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart, and (before he got hurt) Jonathan Lucroy. Essentially, the Brewers have been killed by the second baseman (Rickie Weeks), the shortstops, their first basemen before Hart took over there, and their relief pitchers.
No Brewers relief pitchers has been more disappointing than John Axford.
In 2011, Axford blew two save early saves ... then converted 43 straight save opportunities, setting a single-season franchise record with 46 saves and leading the National League. This year, he ran his streak to 49 straight conversions, but since then everything's sort of gone to hell. Axford's strikeouts are up this season, but so are his walks and his home runs allowed, and he's already blown five saves. He entered 2012 with a 2.26 career ERA; his ERA this season now stands at 4.86.
If the Brewers are going to get back into contention, Axford simply has to pitch better. Or stop getting chances to blow late-innings leads. The good news is that he's throwing as hard as ever. Which doesn't mean he's not hurt. But at least there's been no hint of that, aside from the relative ineffectiveness of his pitches.
But the Brewers need more than Axford pitching like he used to. They also need Rickie Weeks playing like he used to.
Both of those things seem likely to happen. But soon enough and big enough to help them get back into contention before the trade deadline is a tall order. So it seems highly likely that the Brewers will be sellers at the deadline, and that Zack Greinke winds up pitching for a real contender down the stretch.
Right now, the Baltimore Orioles have the worst run differential in the American League East, at -28. About what you'd expect from the Orioles. But the Orioles also have the second-best record in the AL East, and are sitting in a wild-card slot. The Baltimore Orioles are contending, at least for the time being, and according to Dan Connolly, they intend to keep it that way and are targeting a premium pitcher on the trade market. Quote:
The source, an executive with another big-league club, said the Orioles appear to be the most aggressive suitor currently for Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner who is a free-agent at the end of the season.
So the Orioles are highly interested in Greinke, as they should be. A few things, though. One, several teams are going to be interested in Greinke, because he's outstanding and because he'll probably become available soon. Two, if the Orioles aren't willing to part with Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, they could have a difficult time putting together a sufficiently appealing package. There's going to be an active market for Greinke if the Brewers decide to sell, and competition drives up price.
But I can't predict anything. All we can say for mostly-sure is that the Orioles are aggressively interested in Zack Greinke. They might not get him, if anybody gets him, but it's been a while since we could talk about the Orioles in this way. It's kind of refreshing.
The Milwaukee Brewers are a few games below .500, it's early July, and Zack Greinke is set to be a free agent after the season. As much as the Brewers would like to get Greinke locked up to a long-term extension, it's possible they won't be able to do that, and so it's possible Greinke could end up on the trade market this month.
Should that happen, one potential destination would be Atlanta. The Braves are a few games over .500, and they've got talent to move. The Braves have already started scouting Greinke. And David O'Brien believes a match is realistic:
I still doubt #Braves would offer Greinke $20M per in long ext., but believe they're seriously considering trade even if re-sign not assured— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) July 3, 2012
What O'Brien means is that he thinks the Braves might still try to trade for Greinke even if they can't get him signed to an extension right away. He lays out his thinking in a blog post. The Braves have young and talented arms to deal for an older and talented arm, and Greinke lives in Florida, which isn't far from Atlanta. The Braves have the players to swing a Greinke trade, and the circumstances are such that Greinke would probably consider sticking with the Braves for a while.
The Brewers won't trade Greinke today or tomorrow, and if they do decide to move him, there would be a handful of contenders. But you can put the Braves up there at the top of the list.
Here's the situation: Zack Greinke is exceptionally good, and he's a pending free agent. The Brewers were hoping to be good, but they are not, so there's a possibility that they could trade Greinke for prospects before the deadline. If they can't sign him to an extension, which they'd probably like to do.
The Rangers are good, and they're always in the market for help. God knows they have plenty of young talent they could exchange for more big-league-ready talent. They've fallen victim to some pitching injuries. And so on, and so on.
There was a report that the Rangers were scouting Zack Greinke as a potential trade option. There was then this report.
Rangers official:"We will not be in on Greinke."— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 1, 2012
Now there is this report!
The Brewers have a guy scouting one of the Rangers' affiliates. What is he doing there, specifically? No idea. Is Zack Greinke in any way involved in all this? No idea. Will the Brewers be scouting a whole bunch of affiliates as the deadline approaches? No idea. Probably. That would only make sense, right?
So this could so easily be nothing. It could so easily be nothing. At the same time, it's so easy to imagine that there's something brewing (haha) between the Rangers and the Brewers. Maybe they're talking, and maybe they're even close to something. Odds are they're not, but it's officially silly season. It's officially the season to make too much of every little rumor and whisper. Welcome to July, the same as every July, only now with more Twitter.