T.R. Sullivan has an interesting, albeit somewhat cryptic, story up on MLB.com right now concerning the Rangers' continued pursuit of a front-line starting pitcher, and, more specifically, Brewers right-hander Zack Greinke, whom Doug Melvin is now completely (and publicly) intent on trading before Tuesday afternoon's non-waiver trade deadline. I'm not sure whether people really want posts with questionable signal-to-noise ratios like this right now, but, well, everyone's anxious to some degree about what's going to happen over the next five days, so we might as well take what we can get and run with it.
In any event, Sullivan (a) confirms that the Rangers are "seriously interested [in Greinke] and have scouted Greinke heavily for the past month"; (b) cryptically notes that "there are indications that something could get done [on the Greinke front] before Sunday," when Greinke is scheduled to make his next (and presumably last) start with the Brewers; and (c) reiterates that the Rangers are unlikely to be deterred by the fact that Greinke can walk after the season with no potential draft-pick compensation, although he also remarks that this reality "may mean [the Rangers] are willing to give up less for him."
One of the interesting things about Sullivan's stated position on the Rangers' options is that he clearly prefers Greinke over any other potentially available option, and, after writing yesterday morning that the Rangers "don't have a great scouting report on [Josh Johnson]" (which can be interpreted in more than one way), he played up Greinke's status as a "difference-maker" earlier today while downplaying James Shields and Josh Johnson's respective abilities to attain that same label. I already made my quant-based case in the Clubhouse as far as why I believe Sullivan is underselling Johnson a bit -- but I also recognize that Sullivan is close to the team, and that his opinions likely reflect those of at least a few voices in the room, and that's why I think his comments are notable.
I also took notice of his unequivocal statement that "Rangers officials have targeted Greinke as the best pitcher available," so if you want to go ahead and take that one step further and assume that Greinke is, in fact, now the Rangers' No. 1 trade target right now, and the one guy that they are now focusing more of their time and resources and energy on than anyone else ... well, you have a readymade case laid out in front of you.
Also, for what it's worth, from Keith Law's chat over at ESPN.com earlier today:
Joe (Green Bay): Would the Rangers scoff at a Greinke for [Mike] Olt & Leury Garcia proposal? Will Garcia hit enough at the ML level for him to be an above-average regular?
Keith Law: I would scoff at it. No way I deal Olt for two months of Greinke.
So, you know, there's that and everything. Don't you feel more informed already?