Breaking: Greinke to Angels for 3 Prospects

by JohnBowen

Zack Greinke is returning to the American League, Jon Morosi ; the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner has been traded to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for three of the top 10 prospects in the Angels system.

The Angels have gained yet another pitcher with ace abilities; Greinke joins 2011 Cy Young runner-up Jered Weaver and 77.5 million dollar southpaw CJ Wilson. This relegates the once rock-solid Dan Haren to #4.

Greinke dominated the American League in 2009, going 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA (205 ERA+) and league-best 1.073 WHIP. Since then, the righty has pitched much closer to average, although his peripheral statistics suggest that he’s been the victim of terribly defense (which is what happens when you spend two years with Yuniesky Betancourt backing you up at shortstop. Greinke has averaged almost a strikeout per inning since winning ┬áhis award.

In exchange, the Brewers have received the Angels shortstop prospect Jean Segura, who was ranked as the #55 prospect by Baseball America going into the 2012. This is a far cry from Jurickson Profar of the Rangers system – but it didn’t appear that he was on the table anyway. Ultimately, the Rangers might have parted ways with Elvis Andrus to promote Profar (it was rumored that Melvin requested a copy of his contract) – but this way, Melvin acquired a young, cost-controlled shortstop for longer than three seasons.

The 22 year old Segura, who made his major league debut on Tuesday, had hit .310/.364/.438 in parts of 6 minor league seasons and has stolen 135 bases at a 78% clip in that time. Interestingly, he moved from 2nd to shortstop after the 2010 season and was fast-tracked, going from AA to the big leagues this past year.

Doug Melvin also acquired a pair of 23 year old starting pitchers for his ace: John Hellweg and Ariel Pena.

Hellweg, the Angels #4 overall prospect, has seen his strikeout rate drop since becoming a full-time starter, going from over 10 K/9 in 2010 and 2011 to 6.6 at AA Arkansas this year. Meanwhile, he has struggled mightily with getting the ball over the plate, walking 6.4 guys per 9. For the year, he has a 1.379 WHIP.

Pena has also had issues with control. The Angels #9 overall prospect has walked 4 men per 9 in parts of 6 seasons. He has started for almost that entire time, and has struck out almost exactly one batter per inning.

As a Brewer fan, I certainly acknowledge that this season is over and that it was time for Greinke to leave. I like the acquisition of a player who looks like he can be a mainstay at shortstop for years to come – like the Brewers thought they had in JJ Hardy and Alcides Escobar. This will be a welcome change in a team that has employed Yuniesky Betancourt, and Cesar Izturis as their primary shortstops for the past couple years.

However, the two starting pitching prospects look like they have a lot of issues to hammer out, and at the end of the day, Melvin failed to obtain a single prospect in Baseball America’s top-50 when he had multiple suitors with packed systems. This could, of course, simply be the result of the new rules on compensation picks, which lowered the stock of a rental – even one of Greinke’s ability.

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13 Responses to “Breaking: Greinke to Angels for 3 Prospects”

  1. Raul Says:

    I imagine this negatively affects Dempster. At least a little.

  2. Raul Says:

    Should the Yankees find themselves in a series with the Angels come October, remember what I said about that overrated team.

    That is, unless Phil Hughes miraculously discovers that youthful magic in the next 2 months that had scouts comparing him to Roger Clemens 6 years ago.

  3. JohnBowen Says:

    You always go with pitching in a short series, all other things being equal.

    I too would pick LA in that series.

  4. JohnBowen Says:

    “all other things being equal” isn’t quite the right thing to say.

    If one team is 1st in hitting and 6th in pitching, and the other is the opposite, you go with the better pitching team…if like, fielding and baserunning and such are roughly equal.

  5. Raul Says:

    This is so stupid to look ahead to a series that doesn’t even exist, but if the Yankees and Angels were to meet, NY would need huge games from Teixeira. And probably one or two huge at-bats from a RH bat against CJ Wilson. That guy probably being Andruw Jones.


    Arte Moreno has spent like a motherfucker in the last few years. The Angels better damn well win a World Series soon.

  6. Chuck Says:

    By most accounts, including mine, after seeing him in the AFL, Jean Segura will not/cannot play SS at the major league level and will end up at second base.

    This is his first year above Class A and is playing pretty well in AA (Brewers assigned him to Huntsville), and should be ready by 2014.

    Rickie Weeks has a pretty friendly contract dollar wise and has no trade restrictions in it, so if/when Segura is ready, Weeks is likely gone.

    The most impressive thing about Hellweg is that he’s 6′9″.

    You know how many pitchers taller than 6′7″ have been major league all-stars?


    Take that for what it’s worth. Now matter how “athletic” they may be, tall pitchers have consistent trouble repeating their delivery because they don’t have the coordination/athleticism to do so. It’s not a knock on tall people, it’s just a genetic thing. Running up and down a basketball court grabbing rebounds and dunking IS athletic, but they are reactionary events, the pitching motion is a start and stop movement and while short in duration requires a lot of coordinated, precision type movements.

    He has hit 100 previously, a “slurve”, which is a fancy way of saying he can’t command his breaking ball, and a not very good but improving changeup.

    Best career outlook? Jon Rauch.

    Pena was signed as a 17 year old out of the Dominican Republic, he’s a 6′3″ righthander.

    All I can (or need) to say is he played THREE years of Rookie Ball, and in five full pro seasons has ONE appearance (an emergency start due to an injury) above Class A.

    Melvin’s hand was forced, he had no choice but to move Greinke, and the closer he got to Tuesday the more desperate he would have become, and the less the return.

    Second base is a perfect spot for Segura, he’s short, stocky and durable..he’s a little bigger than Jose Altuve and Dustin Pedroia (but not much) and should be a pretty good player.

    Anytime you get a player back that has a chance to be a regular in your lineup, especially for a once every five days pitcher who you know you won’t re-sign, you win.

  7. JohnBowen Says:

    Why did the Angels change Segura to SS? Just figured Kendrick wasn’t going anywhere I guess?

    Pena has made 19 AA starts this year.

    I really don’t like all those walks from those two guys, but it sounds like they were just throw-ins anyway.

    Probably the best Melvin could do – I think Profar and Teheran were completely unrealistic.

    Now – Rickie Weeks is signed to a very team-friendly deal, if he could go back to playing like his 2010-2011 ASG self. But he’s been atrocious this year…I don’t see how we’d move him without eating a major chunk of his contract, and at any rate, we’d be selling low on him.

    Thanks for the analysis on those guys, Chuck.

  8. Chuck Says:

    Segura was always a SS.

    Pena..stats didn’t include this year, he did pitch in the Futures Game for what it’s worth.

    Weeks is making 11-12 million, even if the Brewers eat half, that’s still affordable.

    Considering the new CBA rules regarding compensation, the Brewers won this deal in a landslide.

  9. JohnBowen Says:

    You mean he was drafted as a SS? Because he appears to have been a 2B through 2010.

  10. Chuck Says:

    “You mean he was drafted as a SS?”

    Yes, sorry.

  11. Chuck Says:

    Watching the Cape Cod League All Star game on FoxNE..announcer said there is “at least 5000 in attendance”.

    The year I played up there, in 30 games (roughly), I don’t think the TOTAL was that much.

  12. Mike Felber Says:

    So Chuck, I have heard that before. Though there are so many more average or just tall men than the really tall. And they tend to be disproportionately siphoned off fr the sports where it is a marked advantage, basketball & volleyball.

    You believe that even if there were = # of very tall men available to try & dedicate themselves to pitching, they would not succeed nearly as often?

  13. Chuck Says:

    “You believe that even if there were = # of very tall men available to try & dedicate themselves to pitching, they would not succeed nearly as often?”


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