White Sox may need to be creative to land Greinke
Club in competition for star righty with several other talent-laden teams
CHICAGO -- The White Sox had just completed a 9-4 victory over the Cubs on a Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, but this particular postgame news conference on June 27, 2004, was temporarily delayed.
That slowdown came due to bigger news arriving than simply beating the Cubs, a release being handed out to the media announcing the White Sox acquisition of Freddy Garcia from the Seattle Mariners. Garcia was the blue chip starting pitcher rumored to be available, but the Yankees were assumed to be the front-runners.
General manager Ken Williams didn't care about such assumptions. The talent package offered up of catcher Miguel Olivo, infielder Michael Morse and outfielder Jeremy Reed was the winning trade for Garcia, who pitched the World Series-clinching victory for the White Sox in 2005.
Eight years after that surprise Garcia move, White Sox fans are hoping history repeats itself on the trade front.
Sure, the Garcia deal took place more than one month before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, which comes about this Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT. But with five days to go until the July 31 landing point, Zack Greinke is the target, and the White Sox are firmly in the running against better talent-stacked competitors.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told the USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Thursday that his ace will be traded before Tuesday. Teams such as the Rangers, Angels and Braves reportedly also have interest in Greinke and have top-flight, Major League-ready prospects to offer, such as Atlanta's Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, that a low-rated White Sox Minor League system does not possess.
So, how do Williams, assistant general manager Rick Hahn and their staff work magic to bring in a pitcher such as Greinke, who definitely interests the organization? They could involve a third team in the deal to increase the prospect offering, and Williams also could use someone off of his Major League roster, such as right-hander Gavin Floyd.
A move involving Floyd, on whom the White Sox hold a $9.5 million option for 2013, would basically mean subbing in Greinke for Floyd for the remainder of this current season. Williams already has added Kevin Youkilis as an upgrade at a vacant third-base spot and veteran reliever Brett Myers to help a young bullpen via trade. In the process, he received money back in both deals and didn't give up any player to significantly hurt the team's future.
Aside from adding an impact arm at the top of the rotation, which most certainly will cost more than the first two moves, Williams doesn't seem inclined to make any other additions for his squad tied with the Tigers atop the American League Central.
"I don't know what the probability of us doing something impactful is," Williams said. "We think we've added a couple pieces that will be impactful for the next few months as is. Whether or not we can do something else, I don't know."
Adding Greinke or a pitcher of that ilk would give the White Sox another frontline starter in the rotation with Jake Peavy, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Philip Humber. It also strengthens the White Sox playoff pitching lineup if the South Siders arrive in the postseason.
With much concern being paid to the innings total accrued by Quintana as a rookie and Sale as a first-year starter, then Williams could look for another secondary, innings-eater type of starter.
Then again, John Danks is working his way back from a left shoulder strain that has sidelined him since May 19. A comeback in late August or early September would deepen the White Sox staff or provide the team with that elite arm pickup if all trade options fall through.