With the Milwaukee Brewers dealing four young players for Kansas City Royals ace Zack Greinke (and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt), the message was clear.

The Brewers are going for it in 2011.


And that means the Brewers aren't likely to trade their top power hitter, first baseman Prince Fielder, this winter. So Orioles fans who keep dreaming of finding Fielder under their really big Christmas tree will be disappointed.

The Brewers-Royals trade, however, probably means Milwaukee will be more willing to trade Fielder this summer if the Brewers fall out of the race (a similar situation to the Seattle Mariners and Cliff Lee in 2010).

The thinking is this: If the Brewers aren't in contention by July 31, they might as well try to replenish the farm system that they had to dip into to acquire Greinke and Shaun Marcum in an earlier deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

That decision involving Fielder next year should have little effect on the Orioles, unless they are in the race in July. In other words, well, you get the drift.

Unless Milwaukee further breaks the bank, one has to assume Fielder will be a free agent after the 2011 season -- and he'll get a big payday when that happens. The Orioles may or may not have a first baseman by then. My guess is that the Orioles and their top target, Adam LaRoche, agree to a deal this week; both sides probably would like to have a resolution before Christmas.

Back to the Brewers: Adding Marcum and Greinke makes Milwaukee's rotation so much better. It also caps one heck of an offseason for former Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz. Kranny was hoping to stick with the Orioles' young pitching but didn't get his contract renewed. So he took a minor league job with the Astros and then ended up getting hired by the Brewers as their big league pitching coach.

Suddenly, Kranitz will have some impressive young pitching at his disposal. Good luck to a good guy.

One other weird Orioles connection to a player in the Royals-Brewers trade: One of the prospects on the move to Kansas City is pitcher Jake Odorizzi, who threw a no-hitter this past season for Single-A Wisconsin. Odorizzi was pulled for pitch-count reasons in that game, so a reliever came in and preserved the no-hitter.

The pitcher?

Adrian Rosario, the Orioles' recent selection in the Rule 5 draft.

And you thought this was just another baseball blog.

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