Saturday, July 28, 2012

Angels Acquire Starting Pitcher, Zack Greinke

In a somewhat surprising move the Los Angeles Angels went out and acquired starting pitcher, Zack Greinke, from the Milwaukee Brewers for top prospect, Jean Segura, AA pitcher John Hellweg, and AA pitcher Ariel Pena. Greinke should slide in nicely and help solidify the Angels rotation even more. The Brewers get a shortstop of the future and a couple of pitchers who could help down the road.

It's no secret that Zack Greinke is really good. Since 2010 only a handful of starting pitchers can say that they have been more valuable than Greinke. Among those are Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee. Two of those that I mentioned will be teammates with Greinke in LA. Ironically, Greinke finishes just ahead of Dan Haren, who will also be a teammate. It's obvious that Greinke will be an excellent addition to his new team.

Some people have questioned whether getting Greinke was a smart move for the Angels though. There's roughly forty percent of the season left and Greinke is a free agent at the end of the season. Personally I don't believe the Angels gave up a lot. Jean Segura is a nice piece, but he doesn't scream "All-Star" to me. The Angels did need help in their rotation, besides Wilson and Weaver, they haven't gotten the best results. Dan Haren has been a huge disappointment so far. He has a 4.23 FIP, but his 3.99 xFIP and 3.91 SIERA suggest he should improve. Still, he's nowhere near his 3.62 career FIP. As a team the Angels have a FIP of 4.12. Greinke's 2.51 FIP should help them immensely.

He is returning to the American League though, and besides his Cy Young season his FIP has generally sat around the 3.30-3.5 range. It would not be surprising to see him regress towards those numbers, but he is talented enough to keep it in the 2.90-3.10 range. Reporters have said that Greinke has the advantage of going from a hitter friendly ballpark to a pitcher friendly ballpark, but after looking each over there isn't a huge difference.

Getting Greinke is a huge plus but the Rangers have been so good this year, it seems unlikely that the Angels will catch them. That means that the Angels will likely be playing in the one game playoff. If they lose and aren't able to retain Greinke there will be a lot of scrutiny towards the Angels, especially since they wouldn't be receiving a compensation pick. It is obviously a gamble, but if they are able to win the World Series then this will turn out to be a great move.

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