Doug Melvin: “This is what I call a ‘now’ trade”

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Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel spoke with Brewers general manager Doug Melvin a short while ago, who said the following about today’s acquisition of Zack Greinke from the Royals:

“This is what I call a ‘now’ trade, getting a player of his ability,” said Melvin, who indicated the trade was “90% complete” last night and finished this morning.

“I feel like I’ve acquired a CC Sabathia except for two years and maybe longer. It feels good. It was a costly trade. We gave up a lot of good, young players. This is a credit to our scouting and player development people to have the kind of young players it takes to make a trade like this.”

Some may be critical about the pieces the Brewers gave up here, but I see it as a win-win for the organization. Let’s just consider for a moment that the nightmare scenario takes place and Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks both walk after 2011. If the team isn’t expected to compete in 2012, Melvin always has the option to replenish his farm system by trading Greinke in his walk year. Remember, Greinke will have not have that pesky no-trade list in 2012. The Brewers could ship him anywhere they would like. Of course, they hope it doesn’t come to that, but it helps to have options.

Clayton Kershaw completes spring training with a 0.00 ERA

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Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.

In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.

The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.

The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.