Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Zack Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers

When I woke up this morning, I was compelled to look at Twitter and mlbtraderumors.com to see if the Hot-Stove had acted up during the night, and more specifically, to see if Zack Greinke had been traded (to what I hoped would be the New York Yankees-my favorite team). Well sure enough, Zack Greinke was indeed traded...but not to the Yankees.

Earlier this morning, the Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals agreed on a trade that would send 2009 Cy Young award winner from the Royals to the Brewers. In return, the Royals received four highly touted prospects, one of which has a full season of major league experienced under his belt. The players sent to Kansas City were Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. Cain is rated number 7 out top 10 Brewers prospects, Jeremy Jeffress is rated number 3 and Jake Odorizzi is rated the number 1 prospect in Milwaukee's organization.

Not only that, but shortstop Alcides Escobar is a young and promising player and although his basic offensive stats do not show that he is very capable of staying in the lineup (.238/.288/.326 line with just 4 homers in 507 AB), his ground ball to fly ball ratio is relatively good for that of a young, skinny, not-known-for-his-bat, shortstop (202 GB and 239 FB) which says that he can develop some better hitting as he gets older. Keep in mind that he's only 24. If your asking yourself why he's in the lineup, it's because his UZR (a defensive stat) is pretty good, 3.5. (Check out fangraphs.com for more information on UZR)

Zack Greinke, the 2009 Cy Young award winner, posted a 4.17 Earned Run Average this year. That's OK but in his Cy Young campaign, he had an astounding 2.16 ERA, so there should be some cause for concern. But he's 27, entering his prime and is now playing for a team that might actually contend late in the season. He said it himself that he was tired of losing that he needed a spark so a trade was good for him, and it has been expected for a while now.

Check out Greinke's year-by-year stats by clicking here

You can see that his stats have dropped off and take a better look at his 2009 and 2010 stats:

2009: 2.16 ERA, 16-8, 242 SO, 1.07 WHIP
2010: 4.17 ERA, 10-14, 181 SO, 1.25 WHIP

But again, he's 27 and wearing a new uniform on a team that has a chance to contend. The Brewers now have a solid rotation with Greinke, Yovani Gallardo and Shawn Marcum and they also have Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder anchoring the offense and not to mention the power full Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks and Casey McGehee.

The FINAL DEAL: Royals get outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress. Brewers get Zack Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, and $2 million to pay for Betancourt's salary. Greinke will be earning a little more than $7 million.

My opinion is that this a fantastic trade for both sides and also Greinke himself. Though I do think that the Brewers gave up a lot of talent but the Royals needed it. Expect somewhere around a 3.50-3.10 ERA range from Greinke this year with about the same strikeouts
and even possibly around 200. He'll also get over 200 innings and will probably gather more than 15 wins but I don't think the Brewers will beat the Cardinals and Reds because they don't have a good enough bullpen and their offense, even with Braun and Fielder, is just not good enough to beat the Reds and Albert Pujos/Matt Holiday. Expect a third place finish from the Brewers this year, but hey, I'm sure Mr. Greinke is happy with anything but last place.

(Statistics in courtesy of: http://www.espn.com, http://www.baseball-reference.com and http://www.fangraphs.com)

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