PHOENIX After the Milwaukee Brewers traded for starting pitchers Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke in December 2010, there was a vocal minority of Brewers fans and baseball observers who suggested that general manager destroyed the team's farm system.
To be fair, Melvin did pay a hefty cost, giving up four of the organization's top prospects to land Greinke and a potential star in the making in Brett Lawrie to pry Marcum from the Blue Jays.
At the same time, the moves paid dividends for the 2011 Brewers, who won a franchise-record 96 games, their first division title in 29 years and came within two victories of their first World Series since 1992.
Greinke and Marcum played leading roles, combining for 29 wins and a 3.67 ERA. As for the players Milwaukee gave up, only shortstop Alcides Escobar was an everyday starter, hitting .254 in 158 games.
"It helped that the players we traded for, we were able to keep for two years," Melvin said. "We don't win, we don't get where we were witho...