Greinke To Brewers, Hurts Cubs In Many Ways


Heading into the season, the Cubs were only going to face former American League Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke once, as he probably would have started one of the three inter-league games that the Cubs have against the Kansas City Royals. Now, the Cubs are probably going to face Greinke at least 3 or 4 times, as he is now inside the Cubs division.

The Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals have agreed on a trade that will send Zack Greinke, and Yuniesky Betancourt  to the Brewers in exchange for shortstop Alcides Escobar, and prospects Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi, and a player to be named later. The addition of Greinke only adds to an already stellar rotations that includes Randy Wolf, Shaun Marcum, Yovani Gallardo, and Chris Narveson. This not a good day for Cubs fans, as with this trade the Brewers marked themselves as contenders to win the division along with the Cardinals and Reds.

Now let me be clear the Cubs chances of winning the division, in the first place, were slim at best. But, there still was reason to hold out hope that may be the Cubs could sneak in as a wild card. But even that seems like a small possibility, as you have to figure that there is a strong chance that two teams from the National League Central could make the playoffs next season. I am not that high on the Reds as may be I should be, but for whatever reason I don’ think they will have the same success that they had this year. At this point, I’m putting the Brewers as the favorites to win the division, followed by the Cardinals and then they Reds.

As far as how this puts an impact on what the Cubs do this off-season, teams like the Nationals and Rangers(whom were heavily involved in Greinke discussions) will now turn their attentions to trying to trade for Matt Garza. Enter the Cubs, who have been focused on trying to trade Garza for the past two weeks now. The Cubs chances of landing Garza were not too high to begin with, now they look worse considering that some may contest that the Rangers and Nationals have a better farm system. Obviously the Cubs could entice the Rays with a trade offer that includes a top prospect such as Chris Archer or Brett Jackson, but rightfully the Cubs are not going to do that. However, if they trade Gorzelanny for two or three quality prospects, they could flip those prospects to the Rays for Matt Garza.

Obviously, the Cubs will still like to add a starting pitcher this winter, but it does not look likely that it will be Matt Garza. According to Bruce Levine yesterday on “Talkin Baseball”, the Cubs may have lost interest in Brandon Webb after checking out his medical reports, but they still appear to be willing to take a flier on him. If the Cubs sign Webb, he would be a project pitcher and may not be ready to go by opening day.

The Cubs have about $5.5MM remaining to spend on trades and free agency this winter, and their main target appears to be a starting pitcher. I also find it weird that the Cubs have not announced the corresponding roster move to go with the Kerry Wood signing, that may indicate that a trade is looming.