KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Although it’s not a direct comparison, the Royals’ blockbuster trade Sunday is similar in essence to one the Brewers pulled off almost two years ago.
On Sunday, the Royals sent four prospects to the Rays for starting pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis. Shields’ contract runs for another two years.
On Dec. 19, 2010, the Royals dealt former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to the Brewers for four prospects. The Brewers had Greinke under contract for two seasons as well.
Here is what has become of the players involved in that trade:
Zack Greinke: His Brewers debut was delayed after he cracked his rib playing hoops, but he went on to finish 16-6 with a 3.83 ERA in 2011 as the Brewers won the NL Central. They lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS, and in two rounds of the playoffs, he was 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.620 WHIP in three starts. He was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 2012 and reportedly turned down a contract extension from Milwaukee before he was traded to the Angels midseason. He went 6-2 with a 3.53 ERA with the Halos, then left via free agency for the Dodgers, who last week gave him the largest contract ever for a right-hander.
The Brewers got three players from the Angels in exchange for Greinke: Right-handers Ariel Pena and John Hellweg, who are both in Double-A, and Jean Segura, who played for the Brewers some last season and projects long-term as their shortstop. He was the Angels’ No. 2 prospect at the start of last season behind Mike Trout.
Yuniesky Betancourt: After one season with the Brewers in which he hit .310 during the playoffs, he signed back with the Royals as a free agent for 2012. He was released by the Royals this summer.
Lorenzo Cain: Suffered through an injury-plagued 2012 season, but he’s expected to be the Royals starting center fielder for years to come.
Alcides Escobar: The shortstop has dazzled Royals fans with his glove and started to show some hitting prowess, too, with a .293 average this year. Royals have him locked up through 2017.
Jake Odorizzi: Right-hander made his major-league debut with the Royals in September, and was ranked as the Royals’ fifth-best prospect by Baseball America before he was shipped to the Rays as part of the Shields trade.
Jeremy Jeffress: Right-hander appeared in 27 games in parts of the last two seasons with the Royals before being traded last month to Toronto, where he will join the Blue Jays’ bullpen. He had a 4.89 ERA with the Royals.