MILWAUKEE — The Brewers are going all in for 2011, acquiring former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke in a trade with the Royals.
The Royals announced Sunday that they acquired shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-handed pitching prospects Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress from the Brewers in exchange for Greinke, 27, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and cash considerations.
"Zack Greinke is one of the top young pitchers in the game today," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said in a statement. "We are very excited to add him to our new rotation.
"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 is feeling urgency to win now. Three of its best players, first baseman Prince Fielder, second baseman Rickie Weeks and rightfielder Corey Hart, can become free agents after next season.
Hart said the trade, along with a previous one for starter Shaun Marcum, makes the Brewers a solid contender.
"We were getting better with Marcum, now Greinke," Hart said in a text message to the Associated Press. "Brewers are for real!"
Greinke was 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA last season. It was a step back from his 2009 season, when he went 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA and won the Cy Young Award.
Odorizzi and Jeffress were tentatively ranked by Baseball America as the Nos. 1 and 3 prospects in the Brewers' system before the trade. Escobar ranked No. 1 before 2009 and 2010. Cain ranked No. 8 before last season.
"I like the deal because the players we got are skilled, athletic middle-of-the-field guys," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "And they improve our team going forward (by) blending in with what we have."
PEÑA SAYS GOODBYE: First baseman Carlos Peña, now with the Cubs, bids an emotional farewell to the Rays, his teammates and the Tampa Bay fans in an ad that appears on page 8A in today's Times. Peña spent four years with the Rays before joining Chicago on a one-year deal.
OBITUARY: Walt Dropo, who played 13 seasons in the majors and won the 1950 American League rookie of the year award with the Red Sox, died Friday of natural causes. He was 87. Mr. Dropo was a three-sport star at UConn in the 1940s.