Brewers last year won 96 games, best in their franchise But this off season has been pretty up and down for the Brewers. Prince Fielder has yet to sign, but there is no chance he's returning to the Brewers. In doing so the Brewers lost a 5+ fWAR 1st baseman. They did sign Aramis Ramirez who is solid but unlikely to fully replace the value lost on Fielder. They also signed an underwhelming Alex Gonzalez to fill a hole in SS. Then there's the shocking news of the suspension of NL MVP Ryan Braun for 50 games, which might be the biggest loss for the Brewers. So with their off-season being a mix bag of goodies there might be a chance that the Brewers could be sellers before the trade deadline. So then the question would be; "What do they have to offer?"
When you look at the Brewers roster, the clear prize would be Ryan Braun. But he's signed through 2020 and with $ 145 mil committed to him. Whether this long term contract would be a worth it if Braun continues to produce at his current MVP level. So it's unexpected that the Brewers would move him. The next two most valuable hitters for the Brewers this year (Aside from Fielder) would be Corey Hart and Nyjer "Tony Plush" Morgan. But neither of those guys are exactly upgrades over Swisher, Gardner or Granderson. After those guys their offensive players are pretty underwhelming.
So then the only option is to look at their Rotation for a potential trade piece. Yovani Gollardo was considered the Ace of their staff and is a pretty good pitcher posting a 3.59 ERA/ 3.59 FIP / 3.19 xFIP. But he's also signed in a team friendly deal til 15 with a 6th year option. But the Brewers do have two pitchers going to hit the 2012 FA market and they might be willing to trade one, if not both of them if the team under-preforms. Shaun Marcum last year posted a 3.54 ERA/ 3.73 FIP / 3.89 xFIP and 2.7 fWAR. While Captain Crazy Pants...I mean Zack Greinke posted 3.83 ERA/ 2.98 FIP/ 2.59 xFIP and 3.9 fWAR. So which of the two pitchers would be a better fit for the Yankees? Marcum has seen AL east success and probably would cost less. However he is heavy fly ball, had arm problems before and fell hard in the second half. Meanwhile Greinke's peripherals has him as probably one of the best pitcher in the league, is a true Ace and had a great second half. However his postseason (in a SSS) was mediocre and there's that over-emphasized mental aspect of him which was a reason why the Yanks balked on him last year.
However despite being "Teh Crazy" I still think Greinke would be the best option for the Yankees. First off, I don't think anyone knows whats going through Greinke's mind and since I'm not Mentok The Mind Taker, I won't pretend i know how his psyche is. So I'm simply going to focus on the Greinke's talents:
- First off, ignore Greinke's ERA for a second. His first half numbers were terrible but it was heavily inflated by two months of a LOB % in the 50's. Meanwhile when his LOB% normalized in the second half, his ERA was only 2.59.
- Greinke's had the best SEIRA and xFIP in the league meaning with some luck he would have been the best pitcher in the league. He had the best K/9 in the league and was 8th in FIP.
- He had a 47.6 GB% which is nice to have in Yankee stadium. It doesn't hurt that he has had AL success including his amazing 2009 Season, where he posted the best fWAR in the AL since 2000 Pedro Martinez.
So it's quite clear that Greinke is a premium talent, and trading for him can give Yankees a solution in their rotation as well as to see how Greinke might preform here before pursuing him in FA in 2012 (or even just extending him outright if they like him enough). Paying twice for a pitcher is usually not a good idea but with Danks signing an extension, Hamels and Cain working on one, the deep 2012 pitching field is slowly dwindling. So then the question is what should the Yankees to give up to get him?
The Brewers farm is one of the worst in the league after they went all in last year and traded most of their top talent for Marcum and Greinke. The price they paid for Greinke was outfielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar and pitching prospects Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odirizzi for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. So the price the Yankees will have to pay for Greinke would be similiar.
Yankees Give: Hughes, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez
Brewers Give: Greinke
My reasoning for this trade is that what the Yankees give up for Greinke now would be slightly less than what the Brewers gave up for Greinke to Kansas due to Greinke hitting the market after the season rather than two years of control. Hughes would be an arm that can help the Brewers now as well as the future, and while Hughes as a starter has been down right underwhelming the AL east, he might have better success in the NL like IPK did which might appeal to a team like the Brewers. This also opens up a rotation spot for Greinke. Betance is a high potential piece, but he has trouble with control, still the talent is there and if he goes to Brewers, he might be one of their top 3 prospects. Sure he might be a potential Ace, but Greinke is already a proven top 10 pitcher. Gary Sanchez would be a bat at C that the Brewers need. Reviewing the Brewer's top 10 prospects list they don't have a top catching prospect despite being weak at the position. And assuming Montero is the future at C, while Romine/Russ might be a back up, this effectively blocks Sanchez from having a future roster spot. (Unless he can play SS...okay i'm kidding) The Yanks would trading from an Area of depth, while fulfilling the Brewer's Area of need.
The Yankees essentially are giving up a former number one prospect with still some hope left and their 3rd and 4th best prospects for a year of an established pitcher. This might seem like an overpay for some of us,but with less and less pitcher hitting the open market in their prime, much less top pitchers, it's worth a gamble on Greinke.(Assuming the Yanks get over the fact that he is "crazy") This is with the thought that if he preforms here, we can resign him or extend him. Even if he fails, we still have Banuelos and get to keep Montero as well as a potential draft pick seeing as Greinke is a type A FA.