Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Brewers land big fish!

As you all know the Milwaukee Brewers traded a boatload of prospects over to the Kansas City Royals for bonified ACE, Zack Greinke late Saturday night/early Sunday morning (depending on the sources).

A number of people that I have talked to seem to think that this was risky deal; some even think of it as being stupid.

Well my friends, this was the best deal the Milwaukee Brewers made in franchise history. Yes, this also takes the cake from the CC Sabathia trade in July of 2008. Why? Here's why....

Milwaukee was able to sell high on both Escobar and Cain. The only REAL prospect that they parted with was Jake Odorizzi, who's still playing down in Single A and not going to make a big league splash for at least a couple of years. He won't even be effective for 3-4 years. That's far too long to wait. Jeremy Jeffress was also apart of the deal which made me giggle out loud. Are you serious? The Milwaukee Brewers were able to unload a First Round draft pick dud in order to seal the deal with KC? This kid smokes more pot than Ricky Williams of the Dolphins. In fact, the guy pisses hot one more time and he's banned for life. Did he show some flashes of what we were expecting last season? To some degree, he was decent in collecting 1 win and tossing 10 innings with a 2.70 ERA. Nice, but too little--too late in my book. This kid was supposed to be in the rotation back in 2009, but no, he was too busy serving a lengthy 2nd suspension. Is there some upside with this kid? Sure there is, but right now with where the Brewers are...they don't have time or the patience to wait for an upside.

Jake Odorizzi is the key ingredient to this deal. Again, he won't be of value to the Crew's play-offs for a number of years when Prince Fielder is long gone playing for the California Angels. Let's keep in mind that he tossed a joint no-hitter last summer for the Wisconsin Ratlers. When I heard about the deal, the only name included in the package that stung was Odorizzi.

Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain are two players that the Brewers sold high on. Let's face it, Escobar went from being a ROY candidate to batting .246 on the season. Yes, it's only his rookie year and he does show lots of promise...but we need results now. Milwaukee can't afford to have Cain (Rookie) and Escobar (2nd year) up the middle on the defense. They did this last year and it wasn't the best scenario. Cain doesn't provide much power and contributes a high number strike-outs. In fact, too many while down in the farm system. Both will be good, but again, we need to get this plan in motion now. Do or die, right?

Another note on this, I'm sick of always saying to my friends (the few that I have), "I can't wait until a couple of years pass and all of these young players are seasoned."
"Wait until next year, can't wait!"

I remember saying, "Wow, our farm system is stocked with Weeks, Fielder, Gwynn Jr., and Weeks"...."We're going to be unstoppable".

Well, Milwaukee forgot to stock up on pitching. Positional players, especially infielders are plentiful (aside from SS this season). It's time to go ALL IN.

I would also like to thank Ned Yost, the ex-Brewers skipper that was fired in August of 2008. He pushed for KC to make the move for Cain & Escobar. After the deal was announced Sunday, I tuned in to XM MLB radio to hear what they had to say. I was surprised to find out that the hosts all pretty much thought the Brewers came out ahead on this deal. Despite the fact that the hosts didn't know much about Cain, they did know the Escobar has no pop in his bat and he plays decent defense. They liked Odorizzi, but made the observation that he was going to Single A for KC, so he won't make an impact for some time.

Milwaukee pulled one over on KC...plain and simple, in my opinion. Deal prospects is easier to stomach because there's so much that can go wrong. Look at LaPorta and Brantley, both players who were traded to Cleveland for CC Sabathia. Both players have struggled and Milwaukee (at this point) came out ahead in the trade. They made it to the Playoffs and won their first post-season game since 1982....equally success. LaPorta has yet to find his swing and consistency, but there's still time for him to pay off.

Cain stings a little, in fact he will probably be a contender for NL ROY in 2011. But that's a big IF.

Thus bringing up the conversation of Zach Greinke! To tell you the truth, yes I'm excited about him becoming our ACE...but I'm even more excited about Yovanni Gallardo. This season he can relax and fall back in to his typical role of being the #2 or #3 hurler in the rotation. As the teams #1 in the rotation (2009 & 2010) he felt the pressure and he didn't react to it too well. This season will be different, he'll feel a level of comfort like he did when he was next-in-line to Ben Sheets/CC Sabathia. Shawn Marcum and Narveson/Rogers will also provide the anchor in that rotation.

1) Greinke
2) Gallardo
3) Wolf
4) Marcum
5) Rogers/Narveson

Compare this to the past two seasons....my heavens....world of difference.

I do realize that Greinke suffered/suffers from social anxiety and it flared up again last year when KC was hurting. Going 10-14 with a plus 4 ERA makes some wonder what we're getting. Winning does wonders for the soul and mind. Once Milwaukee start on their winning ways, Greinke will feel a lot more at ease and not have the weight of the world on shoulders because there are 4-5 other pitchers who can pick up the slack.

Will Greinke return to his 2009 form? Probably not right away, but if we get 15-16 wins from our ACE....well hell, that would be all that we need. I know wins aren't everything in baseball, but the people who say that don't win.
**Milwaukee still needs a lot of help in that bullpen. Yes, they have Loe and Jaxford, Hawkins (will be back, if healthy)...but there are plenty of gaps. No more Coffey and no more Hoffman.

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