Houston sent J.B. Bukauskas, Seth Beer, Corbin Martin and Josh Rojas to Arizona and will receive cash in the deal. Greinke is owed a combined $70 million over the next two seasons after signing a monster contract in the 2015/16 offseason.
The Astros now have the scariest rotation in baseball and it isn’t all that close. Greinke will follow Justin Verlander and Gerritt Cole, two Cy Young contenders, as the veteran right-hander looks to build on his own excellent season. Greinke holds a 2.87 ERA in 2019 with a WHIP of just 0.94.
Beer, Bukauskas and Martin are Houston’s three, four and five prospects on MLB Pipeline, while Rojas has been crushing the ball in Triple-A. Rojas is a utility man, and is the sort of high-upside position player that retooling teams should be targeting. Martin and Bukauskas could become long-term parts of the Diamondbacks’ rotation. Beer, while better suited to being a DH, is a power hitter who takes his walks, but defence is a concern.
This is a haul for the Diamondbacks – it kick starts their rebuild after losing A.J. Pollock, Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin in the offseason. The hope for Arizona will be that Martin and Bukauskas can join fellow 31st July arrival Zac Gallen in the rotation before 2021.
Houston, while the Red Sox, Yankees and Twins were passive, made a move that changes the balance of the American League. The Astros were already the favourites, their rotation was already very good. Greinke elevates the rotation to a different world – the prospect of facing Verlander, Cole and Greinke in a postseason series is downright terrifying even for line-ups as dangerous as the Twins and Yankees.
Before even considering the arrivals of Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini, the Astros are strong favourites to win their second World Series in three years. The line-up is deep, the bullpen is good, and the rotation – wow.