C&C Music Factory have a song entitled "Things That Make you go Hmmmm..." - and the trade of Royals SP1 Zack Greinke to the Brewers reminded me of that song- in a big way!
ESPN's Keith Law summed it up best:
What Kansas City got back is bulk, and fit, but not impact. There's no single anchor prospect in this deal, a player who'd be a top-15 pick in a draft or who'd be a top-5 prospect in the Royals' stacked system. And three of the four guys the Royals got back (assuming for now that Jeremy Jeffress is the fourth piece) have some major concerns that impact their projected long-term values. When you're trading a once-in-a-decade franchise player with two years left on a reasonable contract, you have a rare opportunity to add one top-shelf, impact prospect to your system, and the Royals employed a different philosophy entirely.
All along, we heard that the Royals wanted a "Mark Teixieira-like haul" in return for one of the best young pitchers in baseball; instead, they received a deal that looks, on the surface, more about quantity then about quality. The Rangers and Yankees, both believed to be in on trade talks with the Royals early on, would have been expected to provide a larger haul, at least in terms of "top-level quality talent" then the package the Royals ended up agreeing to from the Brewers. In fact, they were asking for a much larger haul from the Nationals, rumored to include top prospects Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmerman, for starters.
Obviously, the Mets weren't in on these trade talks at all, given that GM Sandy Alderson has stated all along that the team is looking to shed salary in preparation for the 2012 season, and didn't want to add to their payroll, already at the $140 million-range. However, for the first time this off-season, the fact that the team didn't even seem to be in the running for a player who was acquired for a package that the Mets could certainly have topped has upset me greatly. I don't blame this on the new regime- they are still trying to recover from Omar's "Rob Peter to Pay Paul" mentality. That being said, there are only so many SP1's available out there, and now the Mets will see, first-hand, how potent Greinke's arm can be in the National League. Regardless of strategy, when a player like Greinke is on the market, you have to at least get in on the trade talk. As I wrote but 3 days ago, when it seemed as though the Mets would have to give up 5 top prospects to acquire Greinke:
"...then trading 5 top-level prospects for a 2-year rental of Greinke is NOT a trade worth making."
I stand by that statement- except, it did NOT take 5 top prospects- in fact, it barely took ONE, as pitcher Jake Odorizzi is the most talented player they received in the deal. Certainly, a Juan Urbina, though younger, compares favorably in upside to Odorizzi. A combo of Havens, Urbina and Valdespin, plus an outfielder, would seem to be a more favorable deal for the Royals- but we apparently weren't even players in this particular game.
For more on the trade from Law, click here.
To read my post from 3 days ago about Greinke, click here.