Selling the Royals short

Updated: December 21, 2010, 10:33 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Ned Yost possessed veto power in the Royals' trade talks with the Brewers, because he had first-hand insight into two of the major pieces in the deal from his days as the Milwaukee manager. He knows Alcides Escobar. He knows Lorenzo Cain.

The Royals used information from scouts and statistical analysts as they weighed the pros and cons of the proposed deal. But if at any point Yost had raised his voice and said that acquiring Escobar or Cain was a bad idea, he could at least have altered the composition of the trade, and more likely could have squashed it altogether.

But Yost argued for Escobar and Cain and endorsed their inclusion. And after the deal was made, Escobar said good things about his past history with Yost.

That's important, because as Dayton Moore explained over the phone Monday, the Royals were intent on getting in any Greinke trade what any small-market or mid-market team struggles to acquire through free agency: middle infielders and center fielders with high-end ability. And while there are questions borne from Escobar's offensive struggles in 2010 -- he ranked 147th among 149 qualifying hitters in OPS -- no one doubts that he is a potential top-tier shortstop.