The Royals acquired shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-handed pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress from the Brewers in exchange for Greinke, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations.
“Zack brings great physical skills and athleticism to the team and is an outstanding competitor. This trade is a credit to our scouting and player development staff as their hard work and judgment provided us the talented prospects that Kansas City will be receiving. I also appreciate the support of ownership in making this deal.”
Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart said the move, along with a previous trade for starter Shaun Marcum, makes the Brewers a solid contender.
Brewers slugger Ryan Braun said the deal was “amazing” in a separate text message.
“Don’t really know him much yet but really looking forward to getting to know him!” he said.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said the deal made sense for Kansas City because the young players they acquired from Milwaukee fit into what is expected to be a wave of promising young players coming up through their system. Third baseman Mike Moustakas and first baseman Eric Hosmer could join the big league club this year.
“We expect to be competitive next year,” Moore said. “We’re still working to improve our baseball team.”
“He was very much open to it at the end of the day,” Moore said.
There are two years left on the four-year, $38 million contract he signed with the Royals in January 2009. He is due $13.5 million each of the final two seasons, although the Brewers got an undisclosed amount of cash back from the Royals as part of the deal.