The Chicago Cubs weren’t going to acquire Zack Greinke, but we were hoping no other NL Central team would get him. Unfortunately, the Brewers just did.

Former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke has been traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Sunday morning.

In the deal, the Brewers are reportedly acquiring Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress for the 27-year-old Greinke, 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA in 2010 after winning the 2009 Cy Young.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore had been actively shopping for major-league-ready, up-the-middle position players for Greinke.

The Brewers were expected to receive another major leaguer in the deal. Jim Breem of the blog “Bernie’s Crew” reported that player to be shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. ESPN.

That is a serious haul for Greinke (I have it on decent authority that the Royals asked the Cubs for Brett Jackson, Hak-Ju Lee, Robinson Chirinos AND one of Chris Archer or Trey McNutt or Andrew Cashner – the Cubs rightly said no way), but it makes the Brewers rotation formidable.

Once their biggest weakness, the Brewers now have one of the best rotations in an already rotation-heavy NL Central – Greinke, Marcum, Gallardo, Wolf, Narveson… yikes. If the Cubs weren’t already aggressively pursuing Matt Garza, they better be now.

Speaking of which, the Greinke deal leaves the Cubs’ two biggest competitors for Garza – the Rangers and Nationals (each of whom reportedly tried to acquire Greinke) – out in the cold. That means they’ll be coming hard after Garza, and the price tag is going to be ample. If the Cubs can move Tom Gorzelanny for a couple good prospects, it’s possible they’ll be able to acquire Garza without giving up one of Brett Jackson, Chris Archer, Trey McNutt or Hak-Ju Lee (to say nothing of Andrew Cashner), but it looks increasingly unlikely.

  • Bric

    I don’t know how much better Greinke will be now in the NL Central but backed by the Brewers lineup he could win 20 games this year. The worst part is now if Hendry wants to go for Garza (to keep up with the Jones’) the Rays are probably gonna get a better deal than the Royals. And Garza is clearly not as good a pitcher.

  • Jeff

    Wow. Odorozzi and Jeremy Jeffress(who might be the ptbnl) are both former first rounders, plus Cain and Escobar and they get the Royals to eat some of Betancourt’s salary. If Garza is going to cost even half of that, I’d rather they stick with what they have and let Washington or Texas empty their farm system. From the looks of that deal, it might have cost the Cubs Castro and Cashner plus more to get Greinke.

  • curt

    itll be interesting 2 see what hendry does and what ricketts will let him do ,do they really want 2 win or is 2010 a throw away year well see

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Many people think the Cubs won’t contend next season.

    • pfk

      2011 has never been about the Cubs contending. Its about setting the stage for 2012. I’m OK with that but they got outsmarted on the Greinke deal. In the words of Branch Rickey, maybe the greatest GM of all time, “If you want to compete, you ALWAYS take a proven high level producer over of a prospect, especially if its a pitcher.” Milwaukee now has 2 starters (Greinke and Gallardo) better than any of the Cubs. The Cubs have better 3,4 and 5 guys but that isn’t going to be enough to beat the Cards, Reds or Brewers.

      • Randy

        Better 3,4or 5 than Marcum??

        • pfk

          Check that, you’re right, a better 4 and 5. Ouch!

  • pfk

    Yikes, this puts the Cards, Reds and Brewers solidly ahead of the Cubs. I’m not sure we aren’t drinking too much of the Cubs prospect Kool Aid. I’ll take a 27 year old Cy Young winner for several “hot” prospects any day. We’re all excited by kids who are still in AA ball. The Cubs are loaded with 3rd, 4th and 5th starters and maybe – maybe- a number 2. This will win alot of games and maybe get you into the playoffs. But its a solid number 1 and 2 pitchers that win championships. The Cubs aren’t close to having a number 1 and its debatable if they have a good number 2.

  • ramy16

    are you fucking kidding me! they didnt give all that much to get greinke! that really shows how fucked up our dick head of a gm has totally fucked our team for a long time to come! cubs fan once again this year we will be saying again wait til next year…2010 is totally shot! the only thing i can say is that we can be at least competitive

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      Next season will be 2011.

  • KB

    Wow. We could have easily topped the Brewers offer.
    Isn’t that Hendry’s specialty…find the stupidest GM in MLB and try to fleece him?

    Guess the Brewers beat him to it.

  • ramy16


  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    Sorry. I don’t like typos.

  • pfk

    Depressing. The more I think about it, the more I feel Hendry is asleep at the wheel when it comes to how to do a trade. He knows free agency (who doesn’t?) but never seems to be able to pull off that great trade – Pevey and Roberts are but 2 good examples. He never wanted to give up Patterson or Pie and he was offered good talent for them. I’m trying to remain positive and still think that Rcikets is spot on with building a healthy infrastructure and more revenue streams. The one are of concern is our GM. I haven’t given up on him yet but I get closer and closer by the day.

  • BT

    Did any of you read Ace’s article? He specifically points out the ridiculous price the Cubs would have had to pay to get Grienke, and yet everyone comes on here wondering why the Cubs didn’t pull the trigger. Yes, Grienke is worth more than a prospect. But I’m not sure he is worth gutting your system for. Which is essentially what the Royals were asking for.