If you were a Royals fan in 2010, you had many reasons to be upset. The Kansas City club struggled to stay competitive throughout the years, with their best hitter in the 2000’s being Mike Sweeney — exciting, right? Their brightest spot being young pitcher Zack Greinke, who struggled through many personal issues. In 2009 he really put it all together and put down numbers many expected him to put up from the beginning. He posted a 16-8 record with an era of 2.16 and won the AL Cy Young. The following year Greinke did not perform as well as the previous year, but he did enough to gain the attention of other clubs going in to the 2010 offseason.
In 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers struggled to compete in the NL Central as they finished 77-85. May I remind you that this was a year in which the Pittsburgh Pirates finished 57-105, just to show you how fast a team can change their fortunes within five years as long as they make the right moves. That offseason, the Brewers went out and made a move they thought would bring them to the promise land, acquiring Royals ace Zack Greinke. It came at a big cost to them as they gave up Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and a few pitching prospects including Jake Odorizzi, who was a prized pitching prospect in my opinion. The following year the Brewers went 96-66 and won the division, so at the time it seemed like the right thing to do, but after they failed to gain momentum in the postseason, the trade seemed to go in the favor of the Royals. Greinke started 49 games over almost two seasons in Milwaukee, going 25-9. In 2012, The Brewers shipped him to the Angels for SS prospect Jean Segura, who has been average in three seasons with the Brewers.
Let’s break away from the Brewers, as I am sure Royals fans thank them every day. Alcides Escobar is not the greatest SS in the league, but I don’t think the Royals would want anyone else, as with his first pitch aggressive approach and dazzling postseason defense. Basically, Escobar has put the Royals in a great spot. He made ZERO errors in 61 total chances in the 2015 postseason; a very important part of the playoff run, as the team has only committed three errors in this entire playoff stretch. Let’s not forget that he led off the World Series with an inside-the-park home run, which electrified his team.
The next guy in line is Lorenzo Cain, who has hit over .300 in the last two seasons, both seasons in which the Royals have been in the World Series. He has also stolen 56 bases the last two years, leading to many scoring opportunities. Cain has not been as good at the plate as Escobar has been this October, but he has reached base in 20 consecutive games, to go along with Escobar’s 14-game postseason hitting streak. Cain has also established himself as a premier CF, being able to track down any ball hit his way. Defense is a huge part of winning in October and those two have brought their best to the table.
At the time, Royals GM Dayton Moore, stated the club making the Greinke trade was best for the club, as they had a few guys coming up in the minor league system that were sure to bring some stability to the team. Those guys he was talking about were 1B Eric Hosmer and 3B Mike Moustakas. They have completely changed the culture in Kansas City, giving them hope and something to cheer about for the foreseeable future.
That trade opened many doors for the Kansas City Royals, even though it took a few years, I’d say it was worth it. Escobar is currently hitting leadoff for the Royals and Cain is in the three-spot, and the Royals are 2015 World Series champions.
Rock on Royal’s fans, have fun with it.