Late Saturday night, there were rumors of a developing Zack Greinke trade between the Brewers and Royals, and early Sunday morning, those rumors were confirmed. For the Royals, this is just another step along the path towards rebuilding, as Greinke was unloaded for young players who may not make a significant impact for a few seasons.
For the Brewers, though, this is a clear signal that they're looking to make a playoff run in the short-term. Greinke is under contract for the next two seasons, and stands to be incredibly difficult for a team like Milwaukee to re-sign. In exchange, the Brewers gave up three or four potentially critical components of their future core.
But while Greinke's around, he'll help form a dominant top of the rotation, along with Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum. The Brewers came into the offseason looking to add some pitching, and they've managed to add two of the better pitchers in baseball to a staff that already included one legitimate young ace.
The other key bit of information here is that first baseman Prince Fielder has one remaining year of team control before he enters free agency. The Greinke trade will quiet the Prince Fielder trade rumors as the Brewers will keep their team together. Fielder will walk next winter, but the Brewers are willing to deal with that outcome as their attention is focused on making the playoffs.
Whether their offseason additions help them measure up with the Reds and Cardinals - and Phillies - has yet to be seen. But the Brewers have clearly made themselves considerably stronger, and Miller Park promises to have one raucous environment in 2011.