Zack Greinke joins the exodus of elite pitchers from the AL to NL. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
Could the Dodgers have matched this trade?
Alcides Escobar was the Brewers top prospect entering 2010 with some ROY aspirations. He failed to meet them, but he's still a defensive whiz with the glove, and young enough that he could still meet those early expectations.
Dee Gordon would be the closest thing we have to him. But he's still in AA, is certainly not a defensive whiz at this point in his career, and certainly not someone in the same class right now as the SS they did acquire.
Lorenzo Cain is a center fielder with many of the same attributes as Trayvon Robinson. They both have plus speed, they both have limited power, they both strike out to much given the limited power. The big difference is that Cain is already a major league center fielder, while Robinson might be one in 2012.
Jeremy Jeffries was the Brewers number three prospect. He's ready for the major leagues right now. We don't have anyone close to Jeffries that is ready for MLB right now. If Elbert had kept on the right track he'd be that guy, but he didn't, so all of our other top rotational prospects are in AA and below at least two years away. Withrow also could have been this guy if he had not looked like a AA version of Brett Tomko. Wild and HIttable, not exactly something a GM is going to gamble on.
Jake Odorizzi is the prospect not ready for prime time. He was the number five prospect, and as Canuck said, looks pretty close to an Allen Webster comp.
The Royals got three players who will be playing major league baseball with the Royals in 2011, and one solid prospect. We can't match that. Now the Royals may have been better off in the future with Gordon, Robinson, Withrow, Webster then what they got today since it is possible that Gordon and Robinson will have better futures then Escobar and Cain but they went with the players ready to contribute now.
On the flip side if we had acquired Grienke, we certainly would have had to deal Billingsley for the hitting we need, something I'm not that interested in doing.
Hopefully for the Royals they will get some benefit from this deal and not have it compared to the Santana deal. For the Brewers they just might have enough pitching to make a run at the Cardinals/Reds. They certainly have the offense.