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“A big part of my heart will always pull for Zack,” Moore said. “What he overcame, the success he had here, to the point it’s not easy to make these types of deals. You would prefer to have him here and sign him long-term but it just wasn’t something we could do.”

Moore expects Greinke to thrive in the National League.

“This guy’s one of the best fielding pitchers in the game,” Moore said. “You can’t bunt on him. He holds runners. He’s a studier. I think he’s going to do terrific.”

Reports of a potential deal sending Greinke to Milwaukee surfaced online late Saturday.

With the deal, the Brewers have taken two big steps to bolster their starting rotation _ the team’s main weak spot in back-to-back disappointing seasons. Earlier this month, Milwaukee made a trade with Toronto to obtain Marcum for highly regarded infield prospect Brett Lawrie.

It’s an indication the Brewers are serious about making a playoff run in 2011 _ presumably making it far less likely that the team would trade first baseman Prince Fielder, who can become a free agent at the end of the season and has been the subject of widespread trade speculation.

Melvin also went all-in in 2008 with a trade for CC Sabathia, who led the team to the playoffs. With the acquisition of Greinke, the Brewers‘ starting staff is closer to par with Philadelphia and San Francisco in the National League.

This month’s deals for starting pitching have cost Milwaukee promising young prospects who might have figured prominently in its future _ and could help the Royals‘ rebuilding effort.

Escobar was the Brewers‘ primary shortstop last season but struggled at the plate, batting .235 with 41 RBIs. Cain played 43 games for the Brewers last season, batting .306 with 13 RBIs.

Jeffress made 10 appearances for the Brewers last season, going 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA. He has been suspended twice under baseball’s drug policy.

Odorizzi was considered the Brewers‘ top minor league pitching prospect, and agent Jason Wood said the team tried “very hard” to keep his client out of the deal.

“You know what? It’s a nice compliment that the Royals thought highly enough of Jake to include him in the deal,” Wood said. “It’s quite flattering and Jake takes it as a compliment.

“I think the Royals have a quality player and person,” Wood said. “Zack Greinke is a Cy Young winner who had a phenomenal year.”


AP Sports Writers Colin Fly in Milwaukee and Doug Tucker in Kansas City, Mo., contributed to this report.