If enthusiasm and effort were the determining factors in trademaking, White Sox GM Ken Williams would already have Zack Greinke on the South Side of Chicago.
They're not, but he has a shot, anyway.
While the White Sox have a notoriously thin farm system, and couldn't hope to compete with the Rangers, Braves or even Angels in the prospect department, sources involved in the talks suggest the White Sox do have enough talent on their current big-league team to forge a deal for Greinke. The question then becomes whether Williams would have any concern about weakening another area of the team to strengthen the rotation.
It's clear Williams' main area of concern is the rotation. And Greinke clearly is the main man of his affection.
There was speculation among other teams that the White Sox might try to overcome their lack of prospects by getting a third team involved, but there is no evidence that will be an issue. Gavin Floyd's name was brought up by another team in trade talks, but that discussion is believed unrelated.
The White Sox already addressed two major needs by adding Kevin Youkilis to fill a gaping hole at third base and importing veteran reliever Brett Myers to bring experience to the bullpen. It was reported here first on July 16 that the White Sox were involved in the Greinke talks.
The Brewers are shopping him, and rival executives say they expect a trade somewhere before Greinke's next scheduled start Sunday. Milwaukee offered Greinke $100 million-plus for five years a few weeks ago, CBSSports.com first reported, but Greinke didn't accept the offer, setting the stage for his coming trade.
The White Sox earlier this year became the first team to use eight rookie pitchers in one game, and collectively, they've had enough success to form a decent package. The best of the rookie pitchers may be Addison Reed, Jose Quintana, Hector Santiago and Nate Jones.
Williams has never been afraid to deal pitchers off his current roster, as he did previously with Daniel Hudson and others. Williams has made more trades than any current GM, followed closely by Oakland's Billy Beane.
Among other teams involved with Greinke, the Rangers have a stacked system, the Braves aren't far behind that and the Angels still have more prospects than the White Sox.
There's no evidence the White Sox are heavily involved yet with other available starters such as Josh Johnson or James Shields. For now Greinke is their clear target.