Greinke attracting suitors, with Rangers in pursuit

Greinke attracting suitors, with Rangers in pursuit

Greinke attracting suitors, with Rangers in pursuit
It's now four days until baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline, and trade talk is the one topic that dominates the game these days. Clubs are finally gaining some clarity as to whether they're buyers or sellers, and it seems there's a significant move just about every day.

From now until the Deadline on Tuesday (4 p.m. ET, to be exact), we'll be checking in on the trade news around baseball, with help from MLB.com's reporters. The countdown is under way.

Rangers after Greinke: It's not a fun season for the Brewers, but general manager Doug Melvin has to feel like he's in pretty good position right now. He has the most coveted piece on the market, and teams are lining up to see what it will take to acquire Zack Greinke.

The Braves have been on the right-hander for a while now, and the Rangers are hard in pursuit as well. MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan reported Thursday that "there are indications something could get done before [Sunday]," when Greinke is scheduled to make his next start for Milwaukee.

If the Rangers go all-out for Greinke, it will be difficult for other clubs to match them. No team has more high-end Minor League talent than Texas, which could offer a player like slugging corner infielder Mike Olt among others. According to Sullivan, the idea of Greinke being only a two-month rental doesn't scare off the Rangers, which could be a bigger factor.

Mark Bowman of MLB.com has reported that the Braves do not like the idea of pillaging their farm system in order to have Greinke for only two months. If that possibility is less of a deterrent for Texas, it could help tilt the scales in favor of Jon Daniels' club.

Angels may not make big moves: Elsewhere in the American League West, the Angels aren't liking the way the market looks. They'd love to add a starting pitcher, but the options seem to be dwindling. Cole Hamels is off the market, Ryan Dempster appears headed for the Dodgers or nowhere and MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports that the Angels don't sense any optimism from the Marlins to deal Josh Johnson.

That means that any upgrade to the Angels' rotation may come from within, ideally in the form of a return to health by Dan Haren or a return to effectiveness from Ervin Santana. Still, Los Angeles could make some moves around the periphery.

The team would still like to add a bullpen piece, and has looked around at the possibilities in that area. But it appears that one of the boldest teams from this past offseason may make only minor adjustments before Tuesday.

Quiet in first place: A couple of other teams that may have quiet weeks are the first-place Nationals and Giants. Washington, like nearly every team, would love to add an impact starting pitcher, but won't bring in a pitcher just to add somebody. The Nats are comfortable with what they have for depth in John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang, so if they bring in a starter, it will be of the frontline variety.

And those guys are hard to acquire. So Washington could sit out, though it also may have some interest in adding a middle infielder while Ian Desmond is injured.

San Francisco, meanwhile, just doesn't have a lot of issues. The bullpen is solid, and the rotation, save for Tim Lincecum, has been quite strong, too. The Giants could use some help in the bullpen and on the bench, notes Chris Haft of MLB.com, but there's not urgency to make a big addition.

A corner-infield bat could intrigue the 2010 World Series champs, but overall it looks like it's going to be a quiet next few days at AT&T Park. It's nice to be in first.

Selling in Minnesota: Not that it's a surprise, but it's all but official that the Twins are in sell mode. But they're not selling cheap.

That's unfortunate for buyers, because Minnesota has quite a few players who could help contenders -- ranging from starting pitchers to everyday players. MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger reports that Francisco Liriano is quite likely to move out the door, but that he might not be joined by anyone else. Minnesota has plenty of players who might draw interest, but only Liriano is a free agent after 2012.

So players like Justin Morneau, Denard Span and especially Josh Willingham aren't likely to go anywhere. Willingham in particular has a deal that looks excellent right now, with two more years guaranteed at $14 million total. So a team that would want to pry him away would have to make with quite an offer.

The Twins have been hit by some terrible injury luck, not only with their on-the-field performance but with the Deadline approaching as well. If healthy, Carl Pavano and Matt Capps might have made for trade targets for contenders, but neither is available.

So while the Twins are listening, and they're likely to move Liriano, it doesn't look like there will be a mass exodus of players from Target Field before the end of the month.

Matthew Leach is a national reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.