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Zack Greinke To Brewers, Royals Return Underwhelming

It looks like the trade is a done deal. The Milwaukee Brewers will be acquiring 2009 AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke and perhaps the worst everyday player in the bigs in Yuniesky Betancourt in exchange for Jake Odorizzi, Lorenzo CainAlcides Escobar and a player to be named later.

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The Royals acquired three pretty solid prospects - but I don't really know that any of them will be a star, or if they even have star potential. Odorizzi enjoyed success as a 20 year old in the Midwest League, striking out 135 in 120.1 innings while posting a 3.43 ERA. Per Baseball America, he pitched last year at 88-91 mph while touching 93 with his fastball. I'm sure he's had a bit of a jump in velocity - but it's still not going to be an overpowering pitch. I don't think Odorizzi has ace potential, but he does look like he's a safe bet to be a good No. 3 pitcher and maybe a good No. 2 pitcher. 

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Escobar was miserable in his first full major league season, batting .238/.288/.326 with a .270 wOBA. His fielding was pretty average too, rating with a -1 DRS and a 4.7 UZR/150. When you compare Escobar to Betancourt, though, it's hard not to be ecstatic. Sometimes it takes young players awhile for everything to click at the major league level with the bat - so I'm not going to write off Escobar yet. Escobar was the Beer makers top prospect per Baseball America last year, so one bad debut season shouldn't diminish his star too much.

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Lorenzo Cain is the final piece - that we know of at least. He posted an .834 OPS in the minors this year between AA and AAA before enjoying some MLB success in his call up. Cain hit .306/.348/.415 with Milwaukee in 147 at bats. He was slick in the field as well, posting a 6 DRS and 7.6 UZR/150 in his brief time in Milwaukee. Cain doesn't look like he's going to be a star - but he should be a solid center fielder - which is exactly my problem with this trade.

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Kansas City boosted their farm system - but they didn't add anybody truly substantial. They picked up three players who look like safe bets to enjoy solid careers. That's fine and all - but is that the return you want for Greinke? Just because a player requests a trade doesn't mean that you have to oblige him - and it doesn't mean you have to take an offer just because it fills needs, as Dayton Moore had said he was looking for ML ready middle infield help. 

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C'est la vie in KC.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.