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With Zack Greinke, the Brewers are going for the gold

Dec 19, 2010, 9:10 AM EDT


News of the reported trade that would send Zack Greinke to Milwaukee is already sending shockwaves around the baseball world. We’re all still catching our breath from the surprising deal, but there are already many questions about why the Brewers would do this trade right now.

As Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel just pointed out on Twitter, the one thing we do know is that Prince Fielder is not going to be traded. Fielder will be a free agent after the 2011 season and barring something out of the ordinary, he is fully expected to test the open market. This is likely the Brewers’ last chance to win with Fielder in the fold, so they are going for it.

The Brewers will now have Greinke, Yovani Gallardo, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf as an impressive front four with Chris Narveson and likely Chris Capuano duking it out for the final spot in the rotation. The Cardinals are comparable and the Reds have depth, but this rotation has tremendous upside, potentially rivaling the Giants for the second best front four in the National League (with obvious deference to Phillies at No. 1).

Offense wasn’t a problem for the Brewers last season. In fact, they were fourth in the league in runs, second in homers and third in OPS. With many of the same pieces returning in 2011, that shouldn’t change too much. What really hurt Milwaukee was their starting rotation. Their starters finished second from the bottom in the National League with a 4.65 ERA. With this new front four, they have the pieces in place to be a contending team.

Of course, it cost them. They gave up second base prospect Brett Lawrie for Marcum and now Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jake Odorizzi and a player to be named later for Greinke. That’s a big chunk of what wasn’t an impressive farm system in the  first place. It could come back to bite them in the long run, but you can’t say that Brewers general manager Doug Melvin isn’t trying to win. New skipper Ron Roenicke must feel pretty darn good this morning.

  1. lar @ wezen-ball - Dec 19, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Let’s not forget philadelphia’s rotation as well. Other than that, I agree with pretty much everything else.

    It’s *very*exciting as a brewers fan.

    • D.J. Short - Dec 19, 2010 at 9:18 AM

      Right. I worded that funky. I mean they could rival the Giants “as the second best front four in the NL” with obvious deference to the Phillies. The Phillies are the clear No. 1.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Dec 19, 2010 at 1:09 PM

        If you really think the Phils are the clear cut #1 rotation, and the the new Brewers might be as good as the Giants at #2, you were clearly not watching the second half of last year and the playoffs.

  2. sdelmonte - Dec 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Is this the start of the NL finally being forced to become better by the Phils, the way the AL has been pushed along by the Yankees?

    • wonkypenguin - Dec 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM

      Yes. Absolutely. And it’s about damn time.

  3. Panda Claus - Dec 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    As an O’s fan I’m happy for Milwaukee. Another team that’s been struggling for a while that’s making a big push for relevancy. Maybe seeing what the Reds did last year has empowered them.

  4. Dan in Katonah - Dec 19, 2010 at 12:34 PM

    Congratulations, Dayton Moore! You traded a dollar bill for a quarter, 2 nickels and a penny to be named later. And got to kick in $2M for the privilege. Just wondering if this is even worse than The Twins haul for Santana… Enjoy the pu-pu platter, KC!

  5. brewcrewchamps - Dec 19, 2010 at 5:21 PM

    Man I was really a big fan of Cain too. The guy is going to be pretty good…but they got Grienke….I couldn’t really ask for the crew to do much more let’s take the Central!

  6. okr1st - Dec 20, 2010 at 8:46 AM

    Giving up Greinke is a small prize to pay to get rid of Betancourt. :)

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