The Milwaukee Brewers traded Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels for shortstop Jean Segura and relievers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena. Brewer nation has every reason to be depressed about losing a solid starter in Greinke but there are several reasons why this trade is beneficial for Milwaukee.
The Brewers were not going to be able to sign Greinke once he hits free agency in the offseason and since Milwaukee is out of the playoff hunt they do not gain anything by keeping him on the team, unlike a year ago with Prince Fielder. Since the Brewers gave up quite a bit for Greinke a year and a half ago, it is good they at least got something in return for him. Many fans may not realize this but the players they received are actually good and have the potential to be solid major leaguers.
Segura has the potential to be an impactful shortstop in the majors but some scouts believe he may be more suited as a second baseman. The Brewers acquired him to be the shortstop of the future, which means that is where he will play, unless for some reason it does not work out, and they move him to second. Segura has tremendous speed and is a contact hitter, which means he should be a .300 hitter with at least 20 stolen bases in a season. It should also be noted that Segura spent time in the majors this season with the Angels but will start out with Milwaukee in Class AA Hunstville.
Hellweg and Pena both have potential to reach the professional level but it will take some time, as the 23-year-olds must improve their mechanics before making the move up. Hellweg is 5-10 with a 3.38 ERA in 21 starts this season, while Pena is 6-6 with a 2.99 ERA and has 111 strikeouts. Both pitchers will join Segura in Class AA Huntsville.
Los Angeles general manager Jerry Dipoto did not want to feel he was going head-to-head with Texas Rangers’ GM but he knew he would have to make a costly move in order to potentially secure the division.
“All I know is we made our best effort and we were aggressive,” Dipoto said. “We made the deal today with players who were quite painful to lose.”
All three players ranked in the top nine prospects in the Angels farm system. Segura ranked second while Hellweg ranked fourth and Pena ninth. That means Milwaukee got three quality players from a farm system loaded with talent.
It is also interesting to note the Brewers will save roughly $5 million by trading Greinke to Los Angeles. More than $4.5 million still remained on Greinke’s $13.5 million contract for this season and with the Angels picking up the rest, the Brewers will now be under the $100 million payroll originally projected for this season.
It was tough on the Brewers to let Greinke go, but the good news is Milwaukee at least benefited from the trade in some regards. It is better than watching him walk free like they had to do with Fielder this past offseason.