The Angels acquired Zack Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday in exchange for middle infielder Jean Segura and right-handed pitching prospects John Wellweg and Ariel Pena. Segura has a promising bat but questionable plate discipline and defense. Hellweg and Pena are both promising pitchers, featuring great upside but also inconsistent control and struggles developing an effective third pitch. The Rays wanted more than that for James Shields. Jon Heyman quoted the Rays as wanting “north of Greinke” in a potential Shields trade. Is that a reflection of how the Rays view Greinke compared to Shields? Absolutely not. The difference between Greinke and Shields is that Greinke will be a free agent following the season while Shields has team options for the next two years following 2012.
It’s funny how things can work out. The Rays said no to the Angels on a potential package for Shields and immediately the Angels pulled the trigger for Greinke. The Rays’ relationship with Greinke is a completely indirect one. But now their paths collide as Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays hope to beat Greinke and the Angels and take 2 of 3 from the Halos before they take off from Anaheim.