Yeah. It's a tough day. You're excited about getting three new players in the organization but having to trade one of your best players is always tough. But it's a result of how we've played this year so we turn the page and go out there and try to win ballgames.
When did things begin with the Angels?
We feel we got three pretty good players. Jean Segura, a young shortstop, played in AA, he was in the big leagues with the Angels here the last week or so. John Hellweg, a big 6'8" right handed pitcher in AA and Ariel Pena, a right handed pitcher with a big arm who was in the Futures Game with Segura. We feel we got three high level prospects that add to our organization, they're on the 40 man roster, they've been in big league camp with the Angels and add to the depth we have in the upper levels in our organization.
Were teams waiting until after Tuesday to be sure Greinke was healthy?
Yeah, I know there was a lot of talk about being concerned, 'Why was he shut down?' I think it was evident that sometimes the smart thing to do is to give a starting pitcher a breather sometime in June or July. I think it really helped Zack get back on track and that was an outstanding game. He and I were laughing here, when I told him about the trade I don't know if he got more excited about the pitching or the home run he hit. He said he thought he got it all, and you know Zack was a very approachable guy. I look at him somewhat like a son and loved talking baseball with him. He used to come up in the draft room and he and Counsell would sit there and talk and debate about young players and the first thing we wanted to know was who he was traded for because he knows some players. You know he's a baseball junkie. As a general manager you like those kind of players. I'm going to miss him, both as a player because he's so talented. He's going to be a huge addition for the Angels. As far as the phones and other calls, there were a number of teams that called but I got it narrowed down to two teams at the end, there was probably 4-5 clubs and each day as time goes on you try to narrow it down and narrow the focus down so you don't get distracted by clubs that maybe try to get involved. So it came down to two clubs, very tough call for both clubs and we had to push it to the limit to get the best deal.
Is there hope to re-sign Greinke as a free agent?
I told his agent, before I told Zack he was traded I told him to keep us in mind. I can't tell him that after he's traded because it's tampering.
He told me he really enjoyed it here. He said he had as much fun this year as he had last year too. Some of our losses haven't been a lot of fun. But it just goes to show you that he goes out there and has a lot of fun playing the game and that's what you have to do. You can't keep that out of focus. If you go out and play the game and have fun, it's an easier game to play.
On the pressure to get the best deal:
The rules have changed this year. There's no draft pick for the Angels when they made the deal, so the teams involved really have to think hard and heavy through the process. They got who I think is the best pitcher out there that was available, but he's a difference maker. He's got a chance to take you to 2-3 levels that you need to get to a World Series. And we felt that we came up short last year, but we don't even get to that point without Greinke. We gave up a really good package to Kansas City, you can see how Escobar's coming along and Cain's hitting over .300 and Odorizzi's getting close to the big leagues, and I knew that we probably couldn't get the same kind of package back but we got three players that I'm really excited about. We sent Craig out on assignment to see Segura and a couple of shortstops from other organizations and our focus was to try to get a shortstop. There's not a lot that were available but Segura is a very talented, high energy guy, good speed, steals bases. I just talked to him. We're going to send him to AA and he'll be there with Hellweg and Pena. And we've got some other good players coming along. I had another general manager tell me today that we have the best hitting ball club in the Southern League with our Huntsville club with Scooter Gennett and Hunter Morris and you add Segura there and three fourths of our infield are real good prospects. Morris is having a phenomenal year in AA. And then you add Hellweg and Pena to the pitching staff there and Hiram Burgos is there, Thornburg started there earlier. We've added some real depth to our organization and it'll depend on the players and our development to determine how good of players they'll actually be.
What happens here now?
Well, Mark Rogers will be here tomorrow and he's going to pitch on Sunday. We believe in our young talent, we know there's going to be some bumps in the road when you go that path but it's in the best interest of the long term in the organization. So there will be some short term bumps but we're still a very talented club. And Zack told me that. He said there's still a lot of talent on this club. And while we've maybe had our bumps in the road with some late inning losses Zack liked the talent here and now we get some infusion of young talent coming along and a lot of pitching depth coming along so we're going to run some of them out there and see what we have. Who thought Mike Fiers would be doing what he's doing at this point? And we never thought Tyler Thornburg would be up here. Now Mark Rogers has had four out of five, our last report were a couple of wild performances, and he's ready. Wily Peralta over his last seven starts or so he had one walk, nine strikeout game last night. He struggled earlier but now the arrow's pointing up for Wily Peralta. Some of those people we're going to get a chance to see.
What's the plan for these guys this year?
Yeah, we'll wait and see. It's hard, you really don't make promises on that because players could have injuries or their performance may not dictate that and they'll mix in with the other players and be treated like the other players in regards to September. I'm hoping to win as many games as we can now, and you never know what can happen. The Astros a couple of years ago when they traded Pence and Oswalt won some games, they came out and were energized. I don't expect our guys to lay down either. So we'll give them a chance to get comfortable with our organization and us a chance to get comfortable with them.
How do you announce this to the team?
It came late here, so I went down and told Zack. We obviously couldn't make an announcement until we knew it was finalized. A lot goes on when you agree upon the trade, that was three hours ago. The medical staff has to connect and the doctors have to connect, you have to go through the contracts and make sure there's nothing there that will cause a problem. There's a lot of administrative things that have to go on so the most important thing was for me to go down and tell Zack. I took Craig Counsell down with me and we told Zack along with Ron Roenicke, then we told the coaching staff. And then Zack knows, players were all spread out through the clubhouse so he didn't get a chance to talk to them but there will be a point where I'll go down and address them or Ron may want to address them but they know, there's no secrets in baseball anymore.
When was the decision made?
Well, this last road trip obviously didn't help. When you go 0-6 on the road trip we looked at the schedule, we looked at who the Reds and Pirates were going to have to play. We took a look at our own ball club and it wasn't so much the timing of what we really thought, because I still think we can go out and win ballgames and get back in the pennant race, but the trade deadline only allows you a week to make a decision. So if you bypass that decision you could lose out on a lot here. So we felt there was an opportunity to maximize the ability to bring back some players with Zack. And he was in tune with what was going on with that, so we just had to make a decision. But the road trip obviously didn't help with that.