Astros acquire Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in last-minute blockbuster

The Houston Astros waited until the final moments to pull off the biggest trade of deadline day.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Houston has acquired Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke.

The starting pitching market was expected to be the primary focus on the lead up to Wednesday’s 4 p.m ET trade deadline. With Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer traded beforehand, and both Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard staying put with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets respectively, it didn’t produce much drama.

That was until news of Greinke’s move to Houston broke some 13 minutes after the deadline had passed. It’s similar to the Astros trade for Justin Verlander two years ago. The Astros completed the deal with the Detroit Tigers with two seconds to spare before the August 31 waiver deadline. Verlander would then help lead Houston to its first World Series championship.

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Houston Astros celebrate their first World Series win
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros celebrates after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex TrautwigMLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Carlos Correa #1 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Jose Altuve #27, Marwin Gonzalez #9 and Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Marwin Gonzalez #9, Alex Bregman #2, Jose Altuve #27, and Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Alex Bregman #2 and Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros celebrates with fiancee Kate Upton after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros holds the Commissioner's Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Kevin Burhardt of FOX interviews 2017 Willie Mays World Series MVP George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros after he is presented with the MVP trophy after Game 7 of the 2017 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros celebrates with teammates on the field after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Alex Bregman #2 and Brian McCann #16 of the Houston Astros celebrate in the clubhouse after the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dogdgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Members of the Houston Astros celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 1: Members of the Houston Astros celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: (L-R) Justin Verlander #35, Jose Altuve #27, and Dallas Keuchel #60 of the Houston Astros hold the Commissioner's Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: The Houston Astros celebrate in the clubhouse after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win the 2017 World Series at Dodger Stadium on November 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Some also recall the Los Angeles Dodgers trade for Yu Darvish two years ago. The Dodgers negotiated until the literal final minute to acquire Darvish.

It will be fascinating to learn the details of how the Astros trade for Greinke came together.

What we know now is that Arizona will receive major league pitcher Corbin Martin and three prospects in the deal, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Greinke, 35, is in the midst of another All-Star campaign. In 22 starts for Arizona, he’s posted a 10-7 record and a 2.87 ERA. He also has two years and $70 million remaining on a six-year, $206.5 million contract signed before the 2016 season.

The Diamondbacks will be sending money to help cover a portion of what’s owed this season and beyond.

Greinke will join a rotation that’s already loaded at the top with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. The Astros have struggled to find consistency behind them though after losing Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton in free agency. With Greinke, they have a rotation that’s built perfectly for a short playoff series.

Greinke also provides insurance next season in case Cole also leaves in the free agency.

The Astros also acquired starter Aaron Sanchez and reliever Joe Biagini from the Toronto Blue Jays to help fill out their rotation and bullpen. While the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox were surprisingly content to stand pat, the Astros have sent a clear message: It’s World Series or bust in 2019.

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