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  1. I like this trade from Kansas’ perspective. They just (potentially) filled all the holes they had in their organization depth chart. Getting a starting shortstop and center fielder is no small task. Granted the results are pending on Escobar’s and Cain’s progress as players. This is the same Kansas franchise that has the deepest farm system in baseball, is not enamored with AAA numbers (Kila), and apparently has stopped trying to sign washed up vets. I am willing to give both teams a W if this pans out as expected.

    Comment by CesarV — December 19, 2010 @ 11:33 am

  2. it feels like the royals should/could have gotten a top top prospect from someone. this certainly fills the last two holes in dayton moore’s 2013 lineup. dayton’s made his bed, the deals are made, the prospects are drafted. it’s this group that will determine his success as GM of the Royals:

    1. Cain CF
    2. Colon 2B
    3. Butler DH
    4. Moustakas 3B
    5. Hosmer 1B
    6. Myers RF
    7. Gordon LF
    8. Catcher
    9. Escobar SS

    A rotation from: Lamb, Montgomery, Crow, Duffy, Dwyer, Mazzaro, Hochevar

    2011 will be ugly, but this will be a very exciting team in 2013

    Comment by MoreHRs&LesNorman — December 19, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  3. I have to think they could have gotten a better deal from Texas…I’ll be interested in hearing what other offers were on the table for Greinke.

    They get Lorenzo Cain…very good athlete, but strikes out a lot and doesn’t hit for great power. His defense in right field is considered plus, but he’s a more ordinary defender in center. Best case scenario here is maybe an average everyday center fielder?

    Alcides Escobar…never been much of a fan of him. Had a very poor offensive year and he’s always been a one-trick pony offensively (batting average). If he doesn’t hit for average, he will be an anchor for whatever line-up he’s put in. I like his glove, but I’m not sure it makes up for his bat. He is young though, so there is some hope.

    Jeremy Jeffress…drug suspensions aside, he has a huge fastball and could excel out of the bullpen, which is where he’s almost certain to end up. I can’t get that excited over a potential reliever.

    I love Jake Odorizzi…that is a legit top piece in this deal. But I can’t say I’m a fan of the rest of this deal. There is so much risk involved and Odorizzi is the only one with top level of upside.

    Comment by Alex Eisenberg — December 19, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  4. I suppose KC’s perspective on this is to fill out their lineup more then obtaining the best available prospect, in addition to the aforementioned “quantity over quality” thing. The club conceivably landed two long term solutions up the middle, where they are rather shallow to begin with.

    Another factor to consider is this moves Grienke out of the AL while also meeting the media-created request of placing Zach in a smaller market. That is, when you consider those two criteria (NL team in a small market) you begin to limit your trading partners. Further, keeping in mind teams that would be interested in making a deal for a star (goodbye Pittsburgh).

    Comment by Brandon Heikoop — December 19, 2010 @ 11:49 am

  5. I think you’re really underrating Cain defensively. He is a wiz in CF, with a little more playing time in the majors I think he will get even better.

    I’m hoping Jeffress isnt the PTBNL, but if he is, he has immense value if they try to transition him back to starting. Remember, he was a starter until he came back from the his pot suspension.

    Comment by Justin — December 19, 2010 @ 11:56 am

  6. I don’t think Jeffress can be the PTBNL since he’s on the 40-man, right?

    Comment by Dealer A — December 19, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  7. not bad coverage here. a few things about the brewers players moving to KC. while cain does strike out a fair bit, he is going to be a solid OBP guy with good defense – two characteristics that hurt milwaukee most about losing him.

    also, while escobar didn’t run last year, it’s not to be chalked up to him hiding an injury. brewers’ steals were down across the board last year thanks to old balls ken macha’s approach to putting together runs.

    Comment by manuscript — December 19, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  8. This has to be a HUGE win for KC, right? They get some decent prospects AND get someone to take Yuniesky off their hands!

    Comment by JoeyPajamas — December 19, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  9. Totally agree. This was a trade designed to supplement an existing core of young talent that was fairly corner-heavy with up the middle players. In making such explicit demands, and in being so transparent about their intention of moving him, KC probably diminished the overall level of talent they could have received for Greinke.

    That said, the upgrade from Yuni to Escobar has, in my estimation, been underappreciated thus far. As others have pointed out, it’s not as if Escobar has no offensive upside, and he immediately offers a 10-20 run upgrade with the glove.

    I’m ambivalent on Cain. I prefer prospects with solid track records; I’m skeptical of his 2010 performance, but it can’t be ignored. If he can be a plus defender in CF, though, he won’t have to hit much to be valuable . Power arms out of the pen are nice, but tend to be overrated. Odorizzi could turn out to be the best of the bunch, but he’s a few years away and carries the obvious caveats that come along with all pitching prospects.

    Comment by Todd — December 19, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  10. I’m glad the Brewers finally learned that free agent starting pitching has probably the worst return on investment in baseball.

    The Marcum and Greinke trades cost the farm dearly, but I imagine they’ll get the opportunity to trade Greinke for more than they paid if/when Prince departs.

    Comment by Gary — December 19, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

  11. Looking at the last few years of trades involving ace pitchers, its almost starting to look like the Mariner’s trade of Lee to the Rangers was an outlier. Everyone keeps saying that the teams trading an ace pitchers aren’t getting enough (Royals here, Phillies when they traded Lee to the M’s, Indians when they traded Lee to the Phillies). Guess the Blue Jays received good value for Halladay.

    I’m starting to wonder if teams just aren’t willing to give up as much as a lot of analysts think, because for the most part, elite prospects just aren’t getting moved that much these days.

    Comment by mymrbig — December 19, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  12. This is the reason I’m very glad the A’s moved Haren when they did. One or two years later and there’s no way they’d have gotten anywhere near that level of talent. The O’s also did very well to move Bedard when they did.

    Comment by Todd — December 19, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  13. You say that Escobar was COMPLETELY overmatched by MLB pitching last year. Surface analysis much? He struck out 13.8% of the time last year, and had a .264 BABIP despite his speed and 21% LD rate. I would almost be surprised if he didn’t hit in the .280-.300 range next year. Given a 6% walk rate, that puts his OBP in the .330-.350 range, which is very solid for a defensive-minded shortstop, and a huge upgrade over Betancourt. Also, why be worried about the low SB totals? He hit .235, you’re not really going to be focusing on stealing bases when you’re struggling that badly.

    Comment by R M — December 19, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

  14. If Jeffress is included, that means KC gets an everyday CF, and everyday SS, a closer (they can trade Soria now) and the Brewers #1 prospect. That’s a good haul for Greinke, no other team would offer them anything close to that.

    Also can we stop talking about Jeffress like he’s Josh Hamilton? He has only been busted for marijuana, which most of the world knows that Tim Lincecum is fond of and was almost completely legalized in California last year. Its very strange to me that MLB has gone this far in punishing Jeffress and attaching this “personal demon” stigma to him, especially since Lincecum has basically been a big supporter of it over his time in the game.

    Comment by PL — December 19, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

  15. What about AZ’s laughable “haul” for Haren from the Angels? Yikes. I’d take this package from Milw over that every day of the week.

    Comment by PL — December 19, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

  16. I still think the Brewers should add Pavano, as Greinke-Gallardo-Marcum-Pavano-Wolf would be an excellent rotation. Let Prince walk and use that money for a backended deal for Pavano, you can never have enough pitching. Move Braun to 1B and put Gamel in LF with a cheap FA OFer, and the Brewers go from average to great.

    Comment by PL — December 19, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  17. I think the thing with the drug busts is that he KNOWS that it threatens his career yet he keeps doing it. You have to wonder about his thought pattern and commitment when he’s putting millions and millions of dollars at risk.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 19, 2010 @ 1:26 pm

  18. Before you write off Escobar’s career, you might want to look up stats for a few all-star caliber, defense-first, shortstops in history. Davey Concepcion and Omar Vizquel come to mind immediately.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — December 19, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

  19. Yeah, Carlos Gonzalez was HUGE haul for the A’s, oh wait……

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — December 19, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  20. The major reason Escobar stole so few bases is because his regular spot in the lineup was 8th, in front of the pitcher.

    Comment by Flharfh — December 19, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

  21. also, Macha really shut the running game down. I don’t think the low SB total last year is a serious reflection on his true talent on the bases.

    Comment by rickie weeks — December 19, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

  22. Another overlooked factor in this, not only do KC now have $26MM from Greinke, but also after 2011 they pick up $12MM when Meche comes off the books. They could make a splash for a big name FA to compliment all these prospects. Making Jose Bautista, Mark Buehrle or CJ Wilson an offer they can’t refuse will only make them an even stronger force in 2013.

    I’d also see what Soria can get me right now, as Papelbon hits the market after this year too.

    Comment by PL — December 19, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

  23. That’s a pretty magic BABIP. It’s going to raise his OBP 70 points, huh?

    Comment by Sal Bando — December 19, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  24. Huh? You’d conclude the Brewers package is better than the one recieved in the Halladay trade? If you take just Drabek and Lawrie from each deal where Toronto traded a starting pitcher, easily five years down the road will be clear wins for Anthopoulos and his org. You yourself say it’s a quantity over quality trade. (Just this week somewhere I read that d’Arnaud might be the best catching prospect in the minors. Whoever that was? Hmm.)

    Comment by Shane Leavitt — December 19, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

  25. He’s a solid prospect but d’Arnaud is definitely not the best catching prospect in the minors. He also has back problems, which is something to be concerned about for catchers who spend a lot of time hunched over at home plate.

    KC’s package is better. Toronto get the edge for Drabek over Odorizzi… Gose and Cain are almost a wash but edge goes to KC for their prospect being more advanced. I would give the edge for Escobar over d’Arnaud (both up the middle talent) for being more advanced with MLB experience and the PTBNL/Jeffress is a bonus.

    I agree on Escobar, though. He certainly has the talent to really turn things around but I was really surprised at how poorly he played in 2010. One season certainly does not cause a young player to get written off in my books.

    Comment by Marc Hulet — December 19, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  26. …AND get someone to take Yuniesky off their hands!

    Well, you’re likely joking here, but it was Moore and the Royals who traded for his corpse a year and a half ago. He looks no less dead now, than he did then.

    Comment by Shane Leavitt — December 19, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  27. As a Royals fan, I can’t help but feel that any trade that gets rid of Betancourt and gets something in return is a good deal even if it involves giving up Greinke.

    Comment by Alex B. — December 19, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  28. Saying that Gose was part of the Hallady trade isn’t an accurate way to view it. You should be comparing Cain to Michael Taylor, since that was the actual trade.

    The Blue Jays got higher impact players for Hallady than the Royals got for Greinke.

    Comment by Joe Joe — December 19, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  29. The Royals are from Missouri, not Kansas.

    Comment by Jason — December 19, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  30. I just hate players with no play disipline. They get exposed quickly and once in the majors, it really can’t be taught. Here are the career minor league walk rates for some free swingers (Royals centric):

    Yuni – 3.3%
    Escobar – 5.0%
    Berroa – 5.5%
    Frenchy – 5.7%
    Moustakas – 6.8%
    Vlad – 8.0%

    Comment by Jeff Zimmerman — December 19, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

  31. Yeah, even if you want to say there were bigger packages out there (which is something that’s always rumored, but rarely demonstrated), KC did the smart thing simply by trading him. Unsure if everything will pan out, but right now this is a model of rebuilding with a first-class farm system and young talent all coming together at the same time. Now trade Soria and start counting the days until Opening Day 2013.

    Comment by Luke in MN — December 19, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  32. Agreed, and they got higher impact players because Roy Halladay is better than Greinke. I was expecting slightly more from this trade for the Royals, but not too much more.

    Comment by Joe N. — December 19, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  33. KC fans, this deal really hangs on Escobar and Ordozzi. As a Brewer fan I was sad to see Ordozzi go, I think he will develop into a fine starter. Escobar is an amazing talent in terms of fielding and line drive power. But something is wrong with his swing-buyer beware. Cain I think is over rated. But he is a good solid guy, and someone MIL fans really appreciated. He takes good AB’s and has a solid approach at the plate (even if K rate is high). I think he will come down to earth a bit though this season stat wise, but he is a great person and player to have on your team and also solid defensively.
    A Jeffress-Soria 8th-9th could look mighty fine within a year or two.

    Comment by lovesthegame — December 19, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

  34. You forget to mention that kc gave up an extra year of grienke and betancourt vs halladay for one year

    Comment by yediyih — December 19, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

  35. One year of Halladay with a below market extension tacked on

    Comment by Mr. wOBAto — December 19, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  36. One thing I like about the Halladay and Marcum deals is that, painful as it was to lose both players, AA received some genuinely high-ceiling talent in return: Drabek, D’Arnaud, Lawrie, Gose (after a couple of player flips). Compare that to, say, the Santana deal or the Philly-M’s Lee deal, and I’m a pretty happy Jays fan.

    Comment by greenfrog — December 19, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

  37. Escorbar has no strength. Part of his issue is that he simply cannot drive the ball. Going to the arguably tougher league isn’t going to alleviate that problem.

    Cain also has little power but otherwise looks like he could be an everyday centerfielder with a bit of development.

    But both guys futures are right now. Alcides is 24 and Lorenzo is 25.

    Comment by brew1982 — December 19, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

  38. Why waste money on Pavano? Giving him a 3 year deal would be a huge risk based on his history.

    Comment by NEPP — December 19, 2010 @ 4:47 pm


    Yuni: “I’m not dead yet!”

    *Whack to the back of the skull, then tossed on the cart*

    Comment by Jason B — December 19, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

  40. I agree that Dayton Moore did the right thing by trading Greinke and getting the pieces he got. I don’t necessarily think that the pieces he got are all that appealing as they are just “pieces,” but the question is, does a middle of the lineup of Butler, Moustakas, Hosmer and Myers in 2013-2015 scream championship?

    Comment by Dan — December 19, 2010 @ 4:51 pm

  41. Yeah, you would think they hoepfully learned that lesson with Wolf already (namely, that a mid-level club really straps itself financially by handing out multi-year, biggish money deals to B- starters).

    Comment by Jason B — December 19, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  42. People need to look at Escobar’s GB rate. In the minors he could beat out those GBs. Against major league defense thats a very open question

    Comment by Rob — December 19, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  43. That’s where I think they would look to add a FA if they thought it was the missing piece.

    IMO, asking them to be division champ simply on what they have in MiLB is too much … probably too much for any non-expansion team in the current system.

    However, they won;t have much payroll (compratively) and could spend on a couple of guys if needed. Whether it would be some guys looking to bounce back with a 1-year “prove it” year (Beltre, Pena, for recent examples), or giving someone a longer deal for risky money/years.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 19, 2010 @ 5:38 pm

  44. excellent counterpoint, it totally defeats his arguments here

    Comment by fredsbank — December 19, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

  45. I respectfully disagree with the comparison of Greinke vs. Halladay. The Jays garnered a very similar return for one less year of Halladay. The players with the highest ceilings are the ones you want and Toronto landed two potential studs in Drabek and D’Arnaud. I think D’Arnaud will have a major breakout year next season and demonstrate why he is so highly valued by the organization. Drabek’s numbers weren’t as dominant as I think they could have been, probably b/c the team forced Drabek to throw change-ups and develop it as a weapon instead of just relying on his filthy curveball. Not a brutal return by KC, but I like the Jays deal more.

    Comment by Michael — December 19, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  46. Yep…..264 to .334 on the BABIP is completely reasonable for a player of his speed.

    Comment by R M — December 19, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

  47. Hey, you still need those starters. If you have great young players making the minimum, who cares that you have to pay for “B starters”

    Comment by PL — December 19, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

  48. “the right-hander’s personal demons”

    The kid smokes pot, not crack.

    Comment by Evan Kirkwood — December 19, 2010 @ 8:16 pm

  49. Absolutely GreenFrog! I think both Toronto deals blow the heck out of the Santana, Lee-to-Mariners, Haren-to-Angels, and Greinke deals. And even if we/AA/Toronto lose out in the end due to youth/injury, they are still far better deals, especially considering you’re in the AL East.

    Comment by Shane Leavitt — December 19, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

  50. Uhhhh…Yeah? Hosmer and Myers are incredible offensive prospects and Moustakas and Butler are no slouches. No guarantee that they all work out but as it’s projected currently, that really could be a championship middle of the order.

    Comment by The Bunk — December 19, 2010 @ 10:36 pm

  51. As a Royals fan, I’m thrilled with this trade….speed and defense (and right handed sticks) up the middle were sorely lacking in the past. A pair of righty pitchers help round out a plethera of stud lefties in the system. And they’re all young, ready to join the wave of talent nearly ready to burst onto KC’s scene. A little history on Greinke….when he had his “social disorder” problem in 2006, and walked out in spring training, the Royals babied him and helped ressurect his career. If Kansas City hadn’t treated him so graciously, I seriously suspect he’d be peddling shoes at the mall about now, and he definately wouldn’t have married Miss Universe. For all of that, he couldn’t seem to be “motivated” to give 100% on the mound for a losing team…….so much for gratitude and loyalty. So, adios Zack……..with no regrets here. As for Yuny, simply adios.

    Comment by BBinKC — December 19, 2010 @ 11:47 pm

  52. Yeah Even lol, the guy smokes weed and he has serious issues? Give me an effin break. As soon as he’s on the 40 man roster he can smoke every day of his professional career because MLB doesn’t suspend players for recreational drug use

    As far as the author of this article he is way off base and putting a negative spin on these prospects. Moore got EXACTLY what he was looking for (SS, CF, RP, a right handed pitching prospect) That’s it. Everything else is in place. Moustakas and Hosmer are the two best corner infield prospects in baseball! Between High A and AA Hosmer hit .340, with a .400+ OBP, 20 HR’s, 10 triples, 15 SB and an OPS of .980…not bad for a 21 year old. Between AA and AAA, Moustakas hit .322, 36 HR’s, 126 RBI, with a .999 OPS. They should both be All Stars in 4, 5 years

    The author doesn’t realize how good KC’s farm system is. It was already rated the BEST in all of MLB so whoever this guy Brett Lawrie is he had zero value in KC because Christopher Colon, you know, the 4th pick in the 2010 MLB draft and Team USA captain is already slated to be KC’s future @ 2nd for 7 years.

    Comment by Mike Garvin — December 20, 2010 @ 12:20 am

  53. well they also got Brett Anderson and Chris Carter, not to mention 3 mediocre filler guys as well. But funny.

    Comment by Adam — December 20, 2010 @ 12:27 am

  54. No, once he’s on the 40 man roster he won’t ever be tested for recreational drugs, just steroids. Not that it matters, but he could smoke every single day and it would present no threat to his career… so your point is irrelevant

    Comment by Mike Garvin — December 20, 2010 @ 12:28 am

  55. Let’s see, Brett Anderson was hurt most of last year. Carter was awful and may never pan out and the rest are, well, like you say, mediocre. CarGone was the real prize in that trade and Billy booted it.

    Comment by DrBGiantsfan — December 20, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  56. Your logic baffles me…

    Lets say you have two Rolls Royces, but you are hungry. Would you trade one of your cars for a steak dinner at Houston’s? I mean, you need to eat, so you are getting “EXACTLY” what you are looking for, right?

    And I would like to ask you a question; how is Dee Brown doing? Angel Berrora? Or what about Mike Stodolka? Okay, okay, well at least tell me Luke Hochevar and Alex Gordon broke out by now… Yet what is it exactly that makes you so sure Moustakas, Hosmer and Colon will be sure things?

    Its especially baffling when you are bragging, even making “All-Star in 4 years” statements, about someone like Moustakas who posted a .314 OBP last season after the mid-season jump to AAA. Well okay, I guess that is better then the .297 OBP he posted in High-A the season prior, but still… He has hit .282/.336/.504 for his minor league career. And I know he is young and all, and he did have a good two month stretch last year, but his numbers so far translate to Jose Lopez territory in the bigs – I would be cautious bragging about that.

    Anyway, Escobar couldnt top a 800 OPS in the minors. He isnt really much of a hitter, and if he ends up as a (non-fluke/2009) Bartlett type, I would probably consider yourself lucky. Cain just isnt a hitter either, and the horrific strike issues with almost no power at the advanced age of 24 points to a probable bench role. Jeffress cant find the plate with a map, and having only one pitch (even if its a 100MPH FB) isnt going to go over well in the majors. Odorizzi has potential, luckily, and will really have to be the saving grace for this package.

    Oh, and one more thing – Uhm, Christian Colon is a Short Stop, not a Second Baseman. So I guess you meant to say its Alcides Escobar who has “zero value in “KC”, not “whoever this guy Brett Lawrie is”.

    Comment by What??? — December 20, 2010 @ 2:14 am

  57. I agree with Mike Garvin in that the Royals filled their organizational needs. At the same time, if Cain and Escobar dont develop into average or near-average starters, their position won’t really matter all that much. At the age both players are at, we will know most likely by the end of the 2011 season what types of players those two will be.

    Garvin, I think the also knows a little on the Royals system. For you to say that Lawrie would have “zero value” in K.C. shows a deep lack of knowledge on that situation. Brett Lawrie’s value is not tied to his ability to play 2nd base. His defensive position is not yet set in stone. The Royals could have groomed him in LF, and had a replacement for Gordon in LF a few years down the road when Lawrie would still be 22-23.

    Comment by Kricket755 — December 20, 2010 @ 2:21 am

  58. RM….

    He had an infield hit rate 7.8%, low for a guy with his speed, but if that rate doubles (which is probably on the high side as that would have put him 2nd in the league behind Ichiro last year) it’s an extra ~15 hits which would be ~33 points of BABIP for him last year.

    Maybe he hit into some bad luck, but I don’t see 70 points coming via speed for a guy who hits the ball on the ground at his rate. He also had a very high IFFB% – that might be some bad luck, but that will help depress the BABIP too.

    While I would not be surprised if he hit in the .280-.300, I would be even less surprised to see him in the .250-.270 range.

    Comment by joe — December 20, 2010 @ 2:49 am

  59. Actually, nimrod, I’d be willing to wager that the *vast* majority of the Royals are from neither Kansas *nor* Missouri.

    Comment by Al Swedgin — December 20, 2010 @ 5:42 am

  60. …but is he smart enough to not get busted bringing his stash on a road trip to Chicago or Toronto or just driving down the road with some in his car.

    People may want the stigma to go away, but it hasn’t yet and somebody who continually makes poor choices can be very embarrassing to an organization.

    Comment by JamesDaBear — December 20, 2010 @ 5:56 am

  61. the kid does stupid things and gets caught, gets told not to do it and still does it, gets punished for it and still does it. It’s a history of poor decision making.

    Comment by JamesDaBear — December 20, 2010 @ 6:03 am

  62. Well, he will still get tested when he’s pulled over and his car reeks of pot.

    Comment by Bill — December 20, 2010 @ 6:57 am

  63. I think that a lot of the criticism of the trade has been a little unfair. There seems to be too high of a standard for both what an ace pitcher should bring in for a trade and Greinke’s marketability.

    It seems that every time an ace pitcher is traded (Santana, Halladay and Sabathia come to mind), the trade is criticized because the prospect haul wasn’t impressive enough. Maybe we simply have too high of a standard for pitchers trade values. Over the past ten years, five Cy Young winners in their prime have been traded and none of the deals have been brought back anything that is impressive. The best prospect haul for a Cy Young winner, the Colon trade/debacle, is the exception to the rule. Ace pitchers just don’t demand as much trade value as we think they should. If they did, there would be more successful trades for ace pitchers.

    Also, one can’t compare Greinke to the other major pitching trades of the past five or so years because Greinke doesn’t quite have the track record of most of the other major pitches who have been traded. Santana, Halladay and Sabathia all had rather extensive track records of success. Greinke, while an extremely talented pitcher, has had one and a half year of seasons of good pitching and one season of being Greg Maddux with a fast-ball. While impressive, it isn’t comparable to the years of success that Santana, Halladay and Sabathia had before they were traded. Greinke has the ability to be the best pitcher in baseball, and he was a year ago, but he is not a sure thing like Santana, Halladay and Sabathia.

    The best comparison is Cliff Lee. A so so career filled with promise that suddenly bloomed into one of the best pitchers in baseball. Both had over one year remaining on their contract, both had off the field issues (people forget that Cliff Lee was kinda an ass) and both trades were seen as underwhelming. I think that, looking at the standards of the Cliff Lee trade specifically, and the trades of other, more proven Cy Young winners, Moore got about what could be expected.

    Comment by John — December 20, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  64. “This is the same Kansas franchise that has the deepest farm system in baseball”

    Which is why, imo, it makes even less sense to settle for quantity over quality, depth over impact.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

  65. “I’m ambivalent on Cain.”

    Me too. I liked him in the small doses I saw against the Reds — he’s a good, balls out defender and I think he’ll hit a little — but it seems like KC already has guys like this in Derrick Robinson and Paulo Orlando. Neither will be ready on opening Day, but might be in a year or two when the Royals are ready to contend.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:20 pm

  66. PTBNL was a misnomer. KC was simply vetting Jeffress before finalizing his inclusion in the trade.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  67. “Brett Anderson was hurt most of last year”

    Yeah, and he was lights out when healthy and looks like a potential ace, #2 at worst. Getting him and CarGo for Haren was a stellar return, regardless of what subsequently happened with Gonzalez.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

  68. “I would almost be surprised if he didn’t hit in the .280-.300 range next year.”

    Yeah, nothing like an empty .280 batting avg to redeem a player. I’d have a lot more faith in your projection if I hadn’t actually witnessed Escobar’s futility at the plate. His numbers were completely supported by his lack of approach, and his pitch recognition was light years worse than I’d expected based on his minor league data and his whiff rate. He’s a bit of an enigma at this point.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  69. “I think the thing with the drug busts is that he KNOWS that it threatens his career yet he keeps doing it. ”


    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  70. “Omar Vizquel”

    Not a bad point, but let me know when Escobar wins his eleventh GG and we’ll comp the two offensively. Escobar does have a better minor league performance pedigree, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he outhit Vizquel for his career. But then, expecting anyone to turn into Vizquel is problematic as well. Escobar seems to have nowhere near that kind of makeup, something which is routinely glossed over by those assessing him.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  71. Cliff Lee brought a Blue-Chip back though. Plus, he was demoted to the minors during the 2007, was not even guaranteed a 2008 rotation spot and was able to get that return at the 2009 deadline while having less then 1.4 years left on his contract. Greinke held more value, yet didnt get a single elite prospect.

    Comment by JoeyO — December 20, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  72. “he can smoke every day of his professional career”

    ‘Cause that’s what professionals do! lol

    Minor leaguers are pros, btw. I think you mean every day of his major league career, not that it doesn’t still miss the point by a million miles.

    Comment by blackout — December 20, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  73. “Oh, and one more thing – Uhm, Christian Colon is a Short Stop, not a Second Baseman”

    Oh, and one more thing – Uhm, Christian Colon PLAYS SS. He also played 2B at CS Fullerton while Grant Green played SS. Many scouts questioned whether Colon would have the range to play SS when he was drafted and felt his best position would be 2b.

    Comment by Jason Dixon — December 20, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

  74. “Greinke held more value, yet didnt get a single elite prospect.”

    Baseball America had Escobar rated #12 before the start of 2010. Both Jeffress and Odoroski were 1st round picks. We have different ideas of ‘elite’.

    Comment by Jason Dixon — December 20, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

  75. @DrBGiantsfan if you are going to troll this site, at least read the posts correctly. What does my post have to do with Oakland? I’m saying Haren, a pitcher with as much game-changing ability as Greinke, was traded from AZ to the Angels for a package that was WAY worse than what the Royals got for Greinke. The A’s have nothing to do with it.

    By the way, Oakland has 4 rings, SF has one and a really awesome superiority complex? GTFO lol. Win 3 more then you can be cocky and arrogant. Til then, 89 :)

    Comment by PL — December 20, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  76. Yeah, Lincecum has been pulled over with weed in his car before and no one cares. I’m just tired of reading about Jeffress’s “personal demons” like he’s smoking crack or doing heroin like Josh Hamilton did. Jeffress is a fantastic prospect who uses marijuana like many millions of people use alcohol (a far more destructive drug imo).

    Watching Bill Lee’s documentary and the pieces about Dock Ellis’s no hitter that have come up over the last couple of years have frankly been refreshing and a joy to watch. The game sure has lost a lot of character over the years, I hope Jeffress and Lincecum become more outspoken and will educate how weed really is not a big deal.

    Comment by PL — December 20, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

  77. Weed is less dangerous than alcohol.

    Comment by PL — December 20, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  78. I still think you all are using the wrong comps: Halladay & Lee are much better than Greinke. Greinke’s best comp would be Dan Haren, and AZ got an awful “haul” for him from LAA.

    Comment by PL — December 20, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

  79. Haren is a pretty good comp. Either way, it seems like the perceived trade value for elite pitchers is rather high. These deals always seem to disappoint. At some point people need to become more reasonable about what they can expect for trading an elite pitcher.

    Comment by John — December 20, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

  80. Yeah, I see “elite” as “star potential”. Escobar, despite the high BA ranking, doesnt have that. And 1st round picks doesnt mean anything really – signability has ensured that.

    Comment by JoeyO — December 20, 2010 @ 4:40 pm

  81. Seriously, what Lee are you talking about?

    The Cliff Lee I know is this:

    200 IP, 5.09 xFIP, 1.405 WHIP, 5.79 K/9, 2.60 BB/9 – 2006
    97 IP, 5.48 xFIP, 1.521 WHIP, 6.10 K/9, 3.33 BB/9 – 2007
    223 IP, 3.57 xFIP, 1.110 WHIP, 6.85 K/9, 1.37 BB/9 – 2008
    152 IP, 3.95 xFIP, 1.303 WHIP, 6.34 K/9, 1.95 BB/9 – 2009 (pre-trade)

    Thats 1.5 seasons of very good to fantastic production after 2 years of poor to piss-poor production. Grienke has been vastly superior to that each of his four pre-trade years

    122 IP, 4.28 xFIP, 1.295 WHIP, 7.82 K/9, 2.66 BB/9 – 2007
    202 IP, 3.76 xFIP, 1.275 WHIP, 8.14 K/9, 2.49 BB/9 – 2008
    229 IP, 3.15 xFIP, 1.073 WHIP, 9.50 K/9, 2.00 BB/9 – 2009
    220 IP, 3.76 xFIP, 1.245 WHIP, 7.40 K/9, 2.25 BB/9 – 2010

    Greinke > Lee at the time of the deal

    Comment by JoeyO — December 20, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  82. Folks, when a player like Darryl Kile, has his own “weed smoking kit” … you can be reasonably certain that LOTS of players toke regularly. At this point, the only surprise is that it is surprising.

    High stress job, late night activities, same damn daily grind over and over, away from family, etc.

    The concerning part about TL55 was that he was pulled over and high at something like 9 AM. Getting high is one thing, get high quite a bit isd yet another, but starting your day off getting high is either [1] the way to do it, or [2] big red flag (depending on perspective).

    It’s 2010 and we’re still making a big deal about weed? If I were an owner, I’d rather my players smoke weed than drink alcohol.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 20, 2010 @ 6:55 pm

  83. Well, he can’t win his 11th GG in his 2nd MLB season … so for at least the next 10 years or so you’ll have the upper ahnd in this discussion. *grin*

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 20, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

  84. I am a Royals fan and today I read an article by Tim Brown on Yahoo sports that Grienke admitted that he started throwing fewer sliders in mid summer last year cause he knew they were just losing and he wanted to save his elbow for next year (presumably with a new team). In other words he was sandbagging it last year which might explain why his numbers were down last year That’s what you get from these players for the $$ you pay them. (I think he made $7.5M last year).

    Comment by The Razor — December 20, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  85. That’s probably smart, regardless of what team he was going to be on.

    If it’s September 20th, and Grioenke has a no hitter in the 8th, but has thrown 127 pithces … do you keep him in or take him out, why or why not?

    By the same token, if our workplace was preparing to announce monumental 4th quarter losses, and our boss was going to be fired at the end of the month, and our co-workers were all using sick leave or personal time while temps filled in for them … I’m sure all of us would be bringing our best effort every single work day … y’know b/c that’s what we’re paid to do.

    I wonder how many at bats in late game blowouts are “give away at bats”? I wonder how many times players are fined in kangaroo Court for taking a walk in the 9th while losing 12-1? (Prolonging the game when everyone else just wants to get the game over, get rested/drunk, and get ready for the next game).

    I’m not saying Grienke does not have “punk tendencies”, because it appears he might … but he’s also human, and it’s possible that not throwing sliders late in the year to save his elbow is a good idea for a non-competitive team.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — December 21, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  86. According to Joel Sherman of the NY Post, the Royals asked the Yankees for:

    1) Montero
    2) Nunez
    3) Betances or Banuelos
    4) Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, Adam Warren or David Phelps

    Doesn’t this price seem a *lot* higher than what Milwaukee gave up in the end?

    Comment by Seideberg — December 21, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

  87. they apparently asked the Cubs for:

    Brett Jackson
    Hak-Ju Lee
    Robinson Chirinos
    Chris Archer, Trey McNutt or Andrew Cashner

    Comment by JoeyO — December 21, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

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