The Chicago White Sox could pull away from the Detroit Tigers if they acquire Zack Greinke. According to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, the South-Siders are one of the teams showing interest in the Brewers' right-hander:
The first trade or trades will likely be smaller ones, but the Brewers are also talking to teams about Zack Greinke, perhaps the best starting pitcher available this month.
As CBSSports.com has reported for the last several days, the Rangers, Angels, Braves and White Sox have been the teams showing the most interest in Greinke.
The White Sox are in a dog-fight with the Tigers atop the AL Central, but a move like this could get them over the hump. They have already scored with their acquisition of Kevin Youklis.
He has hit .277 with five home runs in 25 games with the White Sox.
Acquiring Greinke would be a shot in the arm for the rotation. He could possibly replace Gavin Floyd or Phillip Humber, who has been flat-out awful since his no-hitter on April 21.
Floyd just returned from the disabled list, but he walked six in his first start. Greinke was sharp in his last start, and it showed he is healthy and pitching well.
The Brewers lost, but he went seven innings and only allowed one earned run. He is 9-3 this year with a 3.44 ERA this season.
Another hot name is James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that multiple teams have shown interest in Shields. He writes:
"The rival Rangers and Dodgers have joined the Angels in the hunt for Big Game James Shields, sources told CBSSports.com."
Shields is 8-6 with a 4.39 ERA, so the belief would generally be that he isn't quite the prize that Greinke is—or is he?
Which pitcher would be the best acquisition for a pennant race?
Shields may not have the regular season numbers that Greinke does, but most of these teams are looking for someone who can handle pressure situations. That could be a concern with Greinke.
He was shelled in three postseason starts last year.
He went 1-1 in the 2011 postseason with an ERA of 6.48. Shields had a rough postseason start in 2010 and another in 2011, but in 2008, he was stellar in the second season.
He had four starts that year with a 2.88 ERA and a 2-2 record.
It's possible Shields could be the best of these two trade targets. Stay tuned for more information on these two as the MLB trade deadline approaches.
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