You’ve heard by now…
The reports are the Royals have shipped Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt to Milwaukee in exchange for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. There is some confusion as to whether or not Jeffress is in the deal at this time. There are rumors it may be a PTBNL.
There are also reports the Royals are sending $2 million to the Brewers as part of the deal. Consider that a penalty for employing the Yunigma for the last couple of seasons.
The move addresses the Royals needs by securing youth up the middle. Cain is a speedy center fielder and Escobar is a plus defender at short. Offensively, I have my doubts. Escobar struggled to get on base last summer (.288 OBP) but Cain did alright in a brief turn in the majors (.340 OBP) and also posted a line of .317/.402/.432 between Double-A and Triple-A last year.
So, it happened… And less than a week after the Cliff Lee deal. My initial reaction was one of disappointment, as I have been focused on the potential haul from New York, Texas and even Toronto. Turns out the Brewers were the “Mystery Team.” I didn’t think they had the prospects to pull this off. But with Dayton Moore specifically looking for defense up the middle, this move is one that fits. Although I have to wonder if there’s a bit of Allard Baird Syndrome involved – where the GM becomes so focused on filling a need, he ignores potentially better deals.
Still, as one who has griped (and griped) about the Royals lack of defense over the last several seasons, I’m pleased GMDM is making a move like this. Plus, as deep as the Royals minor league system is, there aren’t a ton of plus defenders coming through the pipeline. (See Eric Hosmer winning an award as the system’s best defender.)
I posted my initial reaction to the deal on Twitter and got a bunch of replies that this is a very good deal for the Royals. I’m still sifting through my thoughts and I’m sure Clark and Nick will chime in throughout the day. In the meantime… What do you think?