All things considered they'd probably rather be back in the NLCS, but the Milwaukee Brewers' long-awaited Zack Greinke trade came through Friday, and it actually looks like a solid move for them. The Los Angeles Angels are the surprise winners, and they had to give up a lot for a half-season of Greinke, starting with top shortstop prospect Jean Segura. (AA pitchers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg round the trade out.)
Segura is a replacement for the shortstop-of-the-future the Brewers traded to get Greinke back in 2010, Alcides Escobar, but he's a different kind of player, an odd combination of speed, line-drive power, and average defense. His AA numbers haven't been extremely impressive, thanks to a development delayed by injuries, but at 22 he has some time to unlock the doubles-and-triples potential prospect watchers have seen in him for a few years now.
In any case he's a major improvement on Cesar Izturis, the Brewers' improvised starter for most of the season, who's managed an on-base percentage of just .236; Segura could easily take over for the rest of the season, if the Brewers think he's learned all he can in the minors.
The pitchers are works in progress, but useful ones. Ariel Pena's best known for his awful performance in the Futures Game this year, but he's also a 23-year-old starter with a live fastball and a strikeout an inning in AA; John Hellweg, another 23-year-old AA starter, is a hulking ex-closer with a mid-90s fastball who might end up back in the bullpen if he can't get his walk rate down.
It's not the Herschel Walker deal, exactly, but trades rarely are anymore; teams are increasingly valuing prospects for their affordability prior to free agency, and rentals just aren't worth as much as they used to be. I think this is a solid haul.