Two and a half years ago, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin raided his farm system to lure CC Sabathia from Cleveland and declared, “We’re going for it.” Now Melvin is doing it again.
Two weeks after he traded his top position player to the Blue Jays for right-hander Shaun Marcum, Melvin pulled off a Saturday night shocker by sending four more premium young players to the Royals for 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke.
The teams made the deal official on Sunday afternoon.
Melvin paid a high price to get Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash — reportedly $2 million to offset the buyout of Betancourt’s 2012 club option. Kansas City receives the Brewers’ starting shortstop in Alcides Escobar, their potential starting center fielder Lorenzo Cain, a former first-round Draft pick in right-hander Jeremy Jeffress and Milwaukee’s top pitching prospect in right-hander Jake Odorizzi.
It’s quite a quartet of young talent. Escobar and Cain are both 24 and big-league ready. Jeffress is 23 and might have been in the Brewers’ bullpen on Opening Day. Odorizzi is 20 and pitched the first eight innings of a no-hitter last season at low Class A Wisconsin.
“This trade is a credit to our scouting and player development staff as their hard work and judgment provided us the talented prospects that Kansas City will be receiving,” Melvin said in a statement. “I also appreciate the support of ownership in making this deal.”