Brewers trade Zack Greinke to Angels | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

Over the past month or two, there were a lot of worries about what kind of return the Brewers would be able to get by trading Zack Greinke. Once Doug Melvin announced Greinke was on the market, though, supply and demand simply took over. Playing AL West rivals against each other, Doug Melvin found himself a deal that was announced a half hour before Friday night’s game.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are your winners in the Zack Greinke Derby, edging out Texas, Atlanta, and the Chicago White Sox. In return, the Brewers will receive 22-year-old infielder Jean Segura, 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Ariel Pena and 23-year-old right-handed pitcher John Hellweg.

Baseball America rated Segura their 55th-best prospect in baseball prior to the 2012 season, and the Angels’ 2nd-best prospect behind Mike Trout. Hellweg entered the year as the Angels’ #4 prospect, while Pena was ranked 9th. That’s quite a haul for a two month rental.

In 374 AB with Double-A Arkansas this year, Segura has produced a .294/.346/.404 line, with 7 HR, 10 2B, and 5 3B. He’s also racked up 33 steals in 46 attempts. Scouts say he has a lot of raw power for a middle infielder and could someday be a 20-HR type. He’s handling shortstop well, but there are plenty who think he’ll eventually end up at second base. It’s important to note that Rickie Weeks is currently signed through 2014, with a team option for 2015. Segura was Keith Law’s #44 prospect in his preseason Top 100.

Hellweg stands 6’9″, and in 21 starts with Arkansas this year is carrying a 3.38 ERA. He’s struggled with control during his minor league career, but he’s also been effectively wild. He has a career minor league WHIP of 1.493, but his 1.379 mark this year would be a full-season ball career low. He’s cut his BB/9 from 5.9 last year to 4.5 this year, although the K/9 rate has also plummeted, from 11.4 to 6.6. It’s important to note that this is the first year in which Hellweg has been used as a full-time starter, so dialing back may have something to do with those drops. Before the year, Law had Hellweg at #81 in his Top 100.

Unlike Hellweg, Pena has been a starter all the way through his minor league career, putting up fairly similar numbers with a 8.0 K/9 and a 4.0 BB/9. In 19 starts with Arkansas this year, Pena has a 2.99 ERA and has struck out 111 in 114.1 innings, all while cutting his BB/9 down to 3.3. If you watched this year’s Futures Game, you’ll recognize him as the guy who got lit up on the World squad. That one outing was not indicative of his career to this point.

Baseball America listed Hellweg’s fastball and curveball as the best in the Angels’ system, while Pena was given the honor of “Best Slider.” John Sickels notes that Hellweg throws a mid-to-upper 90s fastball with sink, and attributes Hellweg’s control issues to his height — generally, tall guys have trouble with their mechanics. Randy Johnson was able to figure his mechanics out. Plenty of others haven’t been able to. As for Pena, Sickels has him throwing 92-95, and a developing changeup to go with his plus slider.

It’s also important to note that Hellweg and Pena are closer to contributing at the major league level than Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley are, although they’re still behind Wily Peralta. Successful small-market teams are able to develop waves of pitching prospects. It’s what the Tampa Bay Rays did with Scott Kazmir-to-David Price-to-Jeremy Hellickson, and now the Brewers may be on their way to developing something similar if things break in their favor.

So no, the Brewers didn’t get a Mike Olt type in return for Greinke. What they did get was someone who could provide 20-HR pop from a middle infield position while hitting close to .300 and two guys who could at least be solid starters with a chance to be very good starters.

Doug Melvin says Segura will go to Double-A Huntsville, while Mark Rogers will be getting the call to make what was supposed to be Greinke’s start on Sunday. Hellweg and Pena are also expected to report to Huntsville. To make room on the 40-man roster for everyone involved, the Brewers designated Edwin Maysonet and cult favorite Brock Kjeldgaard for assignment.

Adam McCalvy has departing comments from Greinke. While Greinke’s exit from Kansas City was a little hairy, he’s had nothing but good things to say about his time in Milwaukee. Tom Haudricourt has the comments from Doug Melvin.

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Gman says: July 27, 2012

    Wow. Great Haul.

    Amazingly fun 2011 season+Segura+Hellweg+Peña+a breath of hope > Odorizzi+Jefress+Cain+Escobar

    Really, the first piece on the left side of the equation was priceless. Thanks for the time, Zack, glad we won’t have to scratch our heads anymore about your peripherals saying you’re Cy Young when the results are not even close.

    Anyone know why were not starting Segura right off?

    • Kyle says: July 27, 2012

      I’m pretty sure I read that Melvin wants to get all of the players acclimated to the system before deciding on any other moves. They may not view Segura as ML-ready right now (I think he was primarily called up due to injuries on the Angels). It’d be cool if they call him up in September.

  2. Luke says: July 27, 2012

    SS problems potentially solved. Pena looks like a solid rotation option in the near future, Hellweg seems destined for a bullpen gig.

  3. Mathdude says: July 27, 2012

    Yeah, i have to say I’m impressed with the quality we’re receiving for a 2 1/2-month rental. Three Angels off their 40-man roster is very impressive. And, all young guys we control for a while. Well done Mr Melvin.

    Is it just me or is Huntsville looking like a lot of fun? Segura & Scooter up the middle with Morris at 1st, Davis going nuts in the OF, and Burgos, Pena, Nelson and Hellwig on the mound. That’s a lot of talent there!

    • Mathdude says: July 27, 2012

      And BTW, the Texas Rangers were offering infielder Leurys Garcia, left-hander Chad Bell and right-hander Justin Grimm.

    • Nels says: July 28, 2012

      Yeah. I’m excited about all that talent

  4. Joe says: July 27, 2012

    I am not sure about the:

    Amazingly fun 2011 season+Segura+Hellweg+Peña+a breath of hope > Odorizzi+Jefress+Cain+Escobar

    equation, because I’d have to put Lawrie into the right side of that as well, and Escobar and Lawrie would be a pretty nice left side, and it’d be nice to have a CF future… but indeed, that would have meant no 2011 (but that also included 4 god-awful losses to the Cardinals…)

    I can see it, yes, but I’d hoped for an honest-to-good-god &&^&^^%^%%$$!! SHORTSTOP, not another 2B.

    I guess we’ll see in 2015 or so.

    • Nels says: July 28, 2012

      I think 2015 is being a little pessimistic. He may not start to emerge into his prime until then, but he will be anchoring the SS spot before that. Escobar is also a Boras client. So we wouldn’t have had him nearly as long.

      Also, while Cain maybe able to produce in Centerfield, I do think we have a pretty solid chance with Schafer in Center. I may even like him a little more than Cain.

      I am in the same boat with you on Lawrie. But, While I don’t like Marcum I would say that he was an integral part in us getting to the post season last year, just not one in us advancing.

      And there is always that off chance that Zack comes back. He is a baseball nut so maybe there was a little collusion happening here with D.M.? At least that’s what I would like to believe for now.

  5. Allen says: July 27, 2012

    Good to see support for this trade here because it seems like a majority of the posts on the Brewers site are bashing it. Basically they all follow the theme that the Brewers got “nothing” in return. Yeah, because we are sooooo stacked at shortstop right now. Also adding Hellweg and Pena to the advancing group of Peralta, Nelson, Thornburg, Jungmann, Bradley, and maybe Rogers definitely helps things.

  6. j.c. says: July 28, 2012

    I was hoping Texas would have offered up Profar, but Segura is a good addition. Hopefully karma results in Greinke resigning with MKE in 2013.

  7. Kris says: July 28, 2012

    Isn’t Jean Segura more of a 2nd baseman? He only plays shortstop out of need right now but he’d be better at 2nd as I understand.

    Hopefully one of these arms pan out though.

  8. Gman says: July 28, 2012

    Good call on including Lawrie on the other side of the equation. Crossed my mind after posting, and definitely a significant consideration. Goes to show how un-useful it is to try to sum up these sorts of things so simplistically. Marcum’s contributions are so confounding — undoubtedly key to solidifying the rotation for a good 3/4 of 2011, but so unbearably terrible and Brewer-like when it mattered most. I suppose I left Marcum/Lawrie out because it’s so hard to swallow that Marcum was really a positive force last year. And it doesn’t hurt that Lawrie is a little b*%$!&.

    • Cecil Cooper's Love Child says: July 30, 2012

      Before you all go crazy with love on Lawrie, please note that he made a big splash last year but the league is figuring him out. He only has 9 HRs and a .758 OPS this year. I think the equation from above is still true.


Websites mentioned my entry.

  1. The 2012 MLB Season Thread - Page 134

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