In 2010 the Kansas City Royals were forced to trade their ace Zack Greinke because he no longer wished to play in Kansas City.
Trading him ended up working out well, as the Royals sent Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers for then-prospects Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar.
While the Royals didn’t see success at first, they have now played in the World Series the last two years, with Cain and Escobar being essential parts of those teams.
Cain was the MVP of the ALCS in 2014, and Escobar was awarded that same honor this year, and the Royals are currently two wins away from their first World Series title since 1985.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Royals owner David Glass said he’s thankful Greinke wanted out of Kansas City:
“When I see Zack,” Royals owner David Glass told the Kansas City Star with a smile, “I’m going to thank him for being a good enough talent that we could get those pieces.”
While Greinke hasn’t reached the World Series since moving on from Kansas City, he’s still been part of successful teams. The Los Angeles Dodgers this season won a third consecutive National League West division title for the first time in franchise history.
After spending the better part of his first two seasons in Los Angeles pitching under Clayton Kershaw’s shadow, Greinke put together a career year in 2015.
He finished 19-3 with a Major League-best 1.66 ERA, 225 ERA+ and 0.84 WHIP. Greinke is expected to opt out of the remaining three years and $71 million on his contract, to ink a new deal likely in excess of $100 million.