Dave Stewart on A's trade deadline, Astros acquiring Zack Greinke

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Three-time World Series champion and 1989 A's All-Star pitcher Dave Stewart knows the A's. And as a former general manager of the D-backs, he knows everything else -- and that includes the drama of the MLB trade deadline.

I spent the week leading up to the Wednesday deadline talking with Stew, who now serves as a baseball analyst with NBC Sports California about the upcoming trade deadline. So when we sat down to talk about how the A's fared this year when all was said and done ... there were plenty of questions to be asked.

The A's traded prospect Jameson Hannah to the Reds for veteran pitcher Tanner Roark, who will immediately make an impact on the A's starting rotation.

"To get Tanner Roark for him, I think, is a good deal for the A's," Stewart told NBC Sports California. "Roark, in my opinion, makes the rotation much better."

"In his last two years, he hasn't been quite the workhorse that he's capable of being, but he's got a 200-plus inning season under his belt. He's always had good numbers, he competes -- everything is plus for me, for him."

Not only does Roark make the rotation better, but Stewart believes the 32-year-old also deserves to be one of the top guys on the mound.

"I do think he's a better fit at the top than [Brett] Anderson ... certainly. He's a good two-guy in the rotation. They may sandwich Anderson in between [Roark] and [Mike] Fiers, which would not be a bad thing."

Stewart continued that for him, this was even better than the Mike Fiers trade from the Detroit Tigers last year.

"This guy is a three-starter at worst and you trade him for a guy that technically you don't know how he's going to end up. I think Hannah's a good prospect, but we don't know how that's going to end up."

Stewart gave the A's an overall "B" grade and said they did a good job, especially after he assumed the team would stay within the bullpen realm and add relief arms -- which was the case when the A's traded for Jake Diekman.

He also added he was impressed with the team's ability to move prospects for someone of Roark's caliber. That wasn't the case last season. 

"They actually surprised me. I didn't think that they'd go out and get a caliber pitcher."

In the scope of MLB as a whole, in what appeared to be a snoozefest of a trade deadline immediately turned into wishing the Houston Astros congratulations on their 2019 World Series championship: The team acquired Zack Greinke from the D-backs at the last minute.

In return, Arizona received four prospects that Houston GM Jeff Luhnow admitted he was excited about. But Stewart knows Greinke. So before we put goggles on and decorate Minute Maid Park's home clubhouse with plastic, he had a two-part answer to the big trade.

"I signed Greinke as a free agent," he said. "And his first year in Arizona was not a good year -- and Arizona is a hitter's domain. And he's going to Houston, which is even a better hitter's stadium."

Greinke boasted a 4.37 ERA in 2016 during his first season with the D-backs. 

If the A's want to grant any wishes, they should rub the lamp and hope Greinke struggles, a thought that doesn't seem so farfetched for Stewart who believes the former Cy Young Award winner will take a while to settle in. He's one of the few who doesn't believe the adjustment to Minute Maid will be easy.

"I don't think he's going to pitch well initially," Stewart added.

[RELATED: A's make upgrades without mortgaging future]

But as for the A's, he's ready for some Green and Gold baseball during the cold months.

"I think they're going to get into the playoffs. They'll clinch a wild-card spot."

Dave Stewart on A's trade deadline, Astros acquiring Zack Greinke originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area