Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 7/11/12

A couple days ago in these pages, I looked at what sort of trade package, in terms of prospects, might be necessary for a team trying to acquire either Zack Greinke or Cole Hamels before the July 31st deadline. Specifically, I looked at what other front-line starters had yielded for their respective teams in recent years — using John Sickels’ prospect grades as a rough guide as to the “quality” of the minor leaguers in question.

Here, I’d like to do engage in a practice that is both (a) endlessly amusing for the baseball fan and also (b) probably totally irresponsible — which is to say, using that earlier post as a foundation, I’d like to consider the hypothetical trade package a specific team might have to assemble in order to acquire Zack Greinke.

The hypothetical team in question? In this case, the Los Angeles Angels.

Last night — probably not under cover of darkness, as the sun sets quite late early in July — CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported not only that the Angels would be persuing Zack Greinke but that the club is regarded “by a person close to Greinke as a perfect fit.’” Regardless of the degree to which such reports are credible, this one, specifically, provides enough in the way of a pretense for what, as I’ve already admitted, is probably a mistake.

In terms of the sort of prospects which Greinke might yield from the Angels, we must first consider at least two factors — both (a) what needs, if any, the Brewers have and (b) what prospects within the Angels’ organization are comparable to those we’ve seen traded in other, similar deals.

To better guess at what the Brewers might consider their areas of need, let’s consider which players might be reasonably expected to occupy something like a starting role entering 2013 and the last year under which each of those players, respectively, is likely to be under contract. (It should be noted that, apart from a few starting pitchers and maybe Scooter Gennett, that the Brewers don’t have much in the way of prospects, currently, as Marc Hulet’s preseason farm rankings suggest.)

Here, then, is a list of 2013′s provisional starters, by position:

C - Jonathan Lucroy, 2017
1B - Mat Gamel, 2016
2B - Rickie Weeks, 2015
3B - Aramis Ramirez, 2014
SS - ???
OF - Ryan Braun, 2020
OF - Norichika Aoki, 2014
OF - Nyjer Morgan, 2014
OF - Corey Hart, 2013

Given this list, it’s fair to assume that shortstop is an area of need for Milwaukee — as Alex Gonzalez‘s option (dependent on however many of hundreds of plate appearances) won’t be vesting and Cody Ransom, despite having been adequate, is not really what any team would regard as an “answer” at short. Mat Gamel was only just replacement level through 75 plate appearances before his season-ending injury, so there’s the chance that the club will look elsewhere. Then again, Gamel was still the starter when he went down. An alternative is that Aramis Ramirez could move over to first base with Taylor Green taking over third. Finally, let’s consider starting pitchers of infinite interest to a selling team.

Looking at the Angels’ farm system, then, we will privilege shortstops, starting pitchers, and maybe a corner-infield sort. We will also look for ratings that were similar to the ones of the prospects netted by other elite starters in recent seasons. It appears to be the case — again, as we discovered in that piece from Monday — it appears to be the case that a typical package will include a fairly large group of minor leaguers (all the deals considered, for example, consisted of four prospects exactly), with one or two of those in the high-B range and another pair in the low-B or C-range.

All this considered, I decree what follows to be the most likely prospect package from the Angels system (Sickels’ notes on which you can read here).

Some combination of:
Jean Segura, 2B/SS, B (who maybe can and maybe can’t stick at short)

Plus two of the following:
Kaleb Cowart, 3B, Grade B-
C.J. Cron, 1B, Grade B-
Luis Jimenez, 3B, Grade B-

Plus a starting-pitching prospect somewhere in the C-range — maybe Ariel Pena (RHP, C+), although he is maybe more valuable, at this point, than at the beginning of the season.

This, of course, is a game that anyone can play at home — either with the Angels, or any of the other teams that (per Heyman) have expressed interest in Greinke (links to the Sickels’ prospect ratings for which I’ve included below).

The idea is that, with some kind of framework established for what a front-line starter can yield, we’re at least capable of playing the game a bit more realistically.

Here are the links to other of Sickels’ preseason ratings: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers.

Is Madison Bumgarner a bully?
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Marlins’ Dee Gordon emotional after lead-off HR

Patrice Bergeron’s worries go away with Brad Marchand’s contract signed

Report: Gabbert in danger of losing starting job to Kaepernick

John Fox won't commit to Cutler as starter when healthy

Report: Austin Sefarian-Jenkins claimed by Jets off waivers


Dez Bryant to undergo MRI after suffering knee injury

Report: Adrian Peterson determined to play again in 2016

Report: McDaniels plans to leave Pats, pursue head-coaching job

Report: Cam Newton feels good, ankle not a problem

Palmer's death brings heartfelt statements from Woods, Obama

Paul Pierce announces he will retire after upcoming season

Box Score: 9/27 - Goodbyes, farewells and hurdles

Kevin Garnett's unique career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

15 greatest calls of Vin Scully's career

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Chris Bosh deserved more than our jokes and underappreciation

LeBron supports Kaepernick but will stand for national anthem

Ben McAdoo: Odell Beckham needs to control his emotions more

Saban rips LSU for firing Miles in middle of season

Box Score: 9/26 - Ratings, Cosell, kitties and stadium names

Ten biggest winners and losers from NFL Week 3

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kevin Garnett's unique NBA career proves anything is possible

Jose Fernandez joins tragic list of premature departures

Week 4 in college football as explained by Queen

The good, bad, and ugly from Week 3 in the NFL season

Where does Landon Donovan's return rank?

WATCH: What are the best WR-CB rivalries of all-time?

Bill Belichick may be forced to get hilariously creative to fill his quarterback slot

Five sports stadiums that should be renamed

WNBA playoffs head into second round after single eliminations

CFB Crash Course: Week 4 - No ranking is safe

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker