The landscape of the National League Central has changed overnight as the Brewers picked up ace starting pitcher Zach Greinke from Kansas City.
Greinke, who won the Cy Young Award in 2009, said earlier this off-season that he wouldn't mind being traded. But in the last few days the sense of urgency increased for some reason and he formally asked to be dealt.
The Brewers are also expected to receive shortstop Yunieski Betancourt in the swap with outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcidez Escobar and a pair of pitching prospects, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress going to the Royals, according to ESPN.
Greinke, 27, is 60-67 with a 3.82 ERA for his career. In 2009 he was 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA to earn the designation as the American League's best pitcher. But his market was likely limited by his season-long battle with anxiety issues that limited him to 6 1/3 innings pitched. While the Yankees desperately need pitching help, they apparently had concerns that Grienke wouldn't be able to stand up to the pressure to pitching in New York.
The former Royals hurler is under contract for $13.5 million in each of the next two seasons. That's a lot of money. But it's a relative bargain compared to what pitchers have been going for on the free agent market lately. Last year the Brewers gave journeyman starter Randy Wolf nearly $10 million a year over three seasons to lure him to town.
The Brewers have lacked a true ace since they lost C.C. Sabathia to the Yankees as a free agent two years ago.
According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Milwaukee was on Grienke's no-trade list. But he was motivated to move enough to waive his no-trade protection.