KC Royals: Dumb Luck Saved Zack Greinke Trade
By John Viril
Mar 6, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers second basemanJurickson Profar
(13) hits a grand slam home run against the San Diego Padres in the sixth inning at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Yankees weren’t the only suitors for Zack Greinke’s services. The Kansas City Royals share a spring facility with the Texas Rangers, and their Surprise, Arizona co-residents were among the favorites to land the KC ace.
The 2011 Rangers were an excellent team that ended up coming within one out of winning the World Series before falling to the Cardinals. Greinke could have been the difference maker that put them over the top.
The Rangers also had ample prospects to make a deal, including players with more perceived upside than Cain, Escobar, Odorizzi, and Jeffress. But, they failed to pull the trigger.
The most common package rumored to be on the table was a trade that would have sent pitcher Tanner Scheppers, shortstop Jurickson Profar, and centerfielder Engel Beltre to the KC Royals.
This deal would have been another disaster for the Kansas City Royals.
Tanner Scheppers did not become the starter scouts expected. Instead, he’s been nothing more than a rather pedestrian reliever with 158.0 innings pitched in his career for a mediocre 3.82 ERA and an ERA+ of 109 (9% better than a league-average pitcher).
Both Engel Beltre and Jurickson Profar were thought to have much more upside than Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. In 2013, Baseball America rated the then 20-year-old Profar the no. 1 prospect in all of baseball, while Beltre was 21-years-old in 2011 with much more development time ahead of him than Cain.
However, both Profar and Beltre have produced little in their careers.
Beltre, in particualr, has been a complete bust. At age 25, he’s only earned 42 plate appearances in the major leagues. He hasn’t been particularly impressive in the minors either, with a disappointing .262/.309/.380 triple slash.
Meanwhile, Jurickson Profar has struggled with injuries over the last few seasons. He’s been out of baseball pretty much the last two years, and faces an uncertain road to recovery due to a torn labrum (shoulder).
Had the Kansas City Royals made this trade, pundits across baseball would have had great fun ramming metaphorical clown shoes on Dayton Moore’s feet for the past five years.
Next: Royals Actually Agree To Deal With Nationals, But Greinke Nixed It