*Though there are reports, most notably one on OnMilwaukee.com, nothing has been confirmed by any source, mentioned on any major sports news source, or even sniffed at by anybody covering the Royals not to mention either of the teams. You might want to have a grain of salt handy.
There are rumors that a deal has been agreed upon that will send Royals starter Zack Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, and pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. All four Brewers prospects ranked in the top 25 in Baseball America’s Prospect Handbook in 2010. Escobar was ranked as the top prospect in that publication and Cain was considered a favorite for the distinction in 2011’s handbook.
Again, nothing as been confirmed as of yet. Oh the very face of it, if these reports are true, the Royals got a whole lot faster, a whole lot younger, and made 2011 a potentially ugly season. But they also got four players with talent and all with years of team control ahead of them.
Greinke’s been the subject of trade rumors since making public comments last August that he didn’t believe he’d be around to see the next crew of Royals prospects start to pick up the major league game. As the offseason has progressed, he’s been the top trade target for up to half of the teams in major league baseball. Dayton Moore has been steadfast in requiring two top-notch near-MLB ready prospects and at least two high ceiling younger prospects in return for the ace. Some reports had Moore holding out for help up the middle. Based off of that, the deal fits both teams. Escobar is a rangy, speedy shortstop and Cain is an athletic, rangy centerfielder.
For what it’s worth, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has heard nothing from any of his Kansas City sources despite a a fanblog on JSOnline reporting the deal as agreed upon, but not confirmed, though confident in sources. Nobody from the Royals beat has commented and neither team has made any announcement. This is a hell of a rumor to float around if it’s not true, though.
Greinke changed agents this week and had reportedly asked the Royals for a trade. The Brewers, for their part, had traded top prospect Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays for starter Shaun Marcum. With an eye toward contention, a Brewers rotation of Yovani Gallardo, Marcum and Greinke is both young and highly skilled. The deal makes sense.
I just don’t know that it’s a deal, yet. No idea what I think about it. I’ll reserve further comment until I hear something from Bob Dutton.
Update: Haudricourt acknowledged the rumors on JSOnline around 2:20am but maintained distance until sources give him more information and/or national media get any leaks.