Zack Greinke knows how hard it is to pull off a trade. He tried to deal for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and receiver Greg Jennings in his fantasy football league and couldn’t get it done.
“It fell through,” Greinke said with a shrug. “The problem, probably in baseball, too, is you always want to get something, but you like what you have. It’s hard to give up what you have.”
The Brewers gave up a lot to get the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner from the Royals along with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin parted with four premium, young players with 23 years of Major League club control ahead of them, including the team’s starting shortstop (Alcides Escobar), it’s potential starting center fielder (Lorenzo Cain), a possible future closer (Jeremy Jeffress) and a top pitching prospect (Jake Odorizzi) who’s been compared to Greinke himself.
So it was with some degree of appreciation that Greinke visited the Brewers clubhouse for the first time on Monday, a day after Milwaukee and Kansas City announced their six-player blockbuster. Greinke joins a re-made Brewers starting rotation that he thinks might just pitch the team into October.
“I don’t have much playoff experience, so I don’t know how it all works,” he joked. “I’m just hoping to get there.”
Greinke has precisely zero games of postseason experience in seven Major League seasons with the Royals, and he’s joining a Brewers club that has not fared much better. They did win the 2008 National League Wild Card before bowing-out to the eventual World Champion Phillies, but with Greinke and incumbent ace YovanI Gallardo atop a rebuilt rotation, hopes are high.
Thanks to Brewers photographer Scott Paulus for the photos: