Could the White Sox actually deal for Greinke?

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Could the White Sox actually deal for Greinke?

According to a report Monday, the White Sox "have Zack Greinke on their radar." Whatever that actually means is up for interpretation, as it could lie anywhere on the spectrum from kicking the tires to legitimate interest.

Greinke has been fantastic this year, posting a 3.57 ERA with a 2.55 FIP in 20 starts. The White Sox saw first-hand how good the righty can be during his days in Kansas City, and he also threw nine shutout innings at U.S. Cellular Field on June 22.

The first question that has to be answered regarding the Greinke sweepstakes involves Milwaukee's willingness to punt 2012 in order to improve a lagging farm system. The Brewers are five games under .500 and well behind Pittsburgh for the second Wild Card spot, with five teams separating them from the Pirates.

Milwaukee, reportedly, will have a tough time keeping Greinke around after his contract expires at the end of the season. That, however, doesn't necessarily diminish Greinke's trade value, as the Brewers can still reap draft picks if Greinke signs elsewhere in the offseason. They don't absolutely have to trade Greinke, but if the right offer comes along, they'll likely take it.

Even for less than half a season of Greinke, he's likely to command a fairly high return, and the Brewers would be smart to look at getting a top prospect given their farm system entered the year in the bottom five of most rankings. With plenty of interest in Greinke and the draft pick option in Milwaukee's back pocket, prying him away won't be easy.

Of course, if everything goes right, the White Sox may not need Greinke. The White Sox need three of these four pitchers to come back healthy and effective or stay effective: Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Philip Humber and Jose Quintana. If 75 percent of them are viable major-league starters for the rest of the season, the Sox will be fine. And if Dylan Axelrod pitches like he did Monday in Boston, they may only need half.

That's not to say the White Sox shouldn't pursue Greinke, because he'd be an upgrade for every team in baseball. But do they need him? Maybe not.

Plus, the White Sox haven't made a major deadline splash for a half-season rental player under Kenny Williams since the first Carl Everett trade in 2003. Freddy Garcia was signed to an extension upon coming to Chicago in 2004, Jake Peavy had 3 12 years left on his deal when the Sox got him in 2009 and Edwin Jackson had a season and a half remaining in 2010.

There are still two weeks remaining until the trade deadline for something to happen, either in Chicago, Milwaukee or elsewhere around baseball. Maybe the White Sox have legitimate interest in Greinke, or maybe they're just doing their due diligence.

We should have an answer two weeks from today.

Todd Frazier's late RBI single lifts White Sox past Blue Jays

Todd Frazier's late RBI single lifts White Sox past Blue Jays

The White Sox haven’t had much success with runners in scoring position of late. Todd Frazier hasn’t had much all season long.

But Frazier’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning Friday night broke a tie and the White Sox held on for a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in front of 27,196 at U.S. Cellular Field. The victory was the fourth in five games for the White Sox, who improved to 37-37. Frazier’s hit was the only one with a runner in scoring position in 14 tries for a team that entered the game hitting .245 in those situations. He finished 2-for-4.

Though Frazier has provided the White Sox with plenty of thump, he’s had a trying season with runners in scoring position. He entered his eighth-inning at-bat with Jesse Chavez just 9-for-61 with two home runs and 23 RBIs with runners in scoring position, including a third-inning ground out. But Frazier got a 1-1 fastball from Chavez and ripped it into left field to put the White Sox ahead and end a frustrating night for the offense, particularly the bottom of the order.

The White Sox had left a man in scoring position in all but one inning up until that point. They tied the game at 1 in the fourth inning on an RBI groundout by Avisail Garcia and pulled ahead in the fifth on a solo homer by Melky Cabrera, who went 3-for-4 against his former team.

Prior to Frazier’s single, Cabrera grounded out to first as Edwin Encarnacion made a spectacular stop and fell down in foul territory. Tim Anderson, who doubled and went to third on a fly ball, didn’t advance on the play. But Frazier made it all moot.

Carlos Rodon had another strong outing, though he surrendered the lead right before he exited.

Rodon struck out eight and tamed a red hot offense for 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander fell behind 1-0 in the second inning and looked as if he may be in trouble before escaping the jam with a strikeout of Junior Lake to strand two. That began a stretch in which Rodon retired 11 of 14 batters and allowed the White Sox to rally for a 2-1 lead.

But Rodon couldn’t hold it, in part because of a sixth-inning balk call by first-base ump Angel Hernandez that earned pitching coach Don Cooper an ejection. Rodon hit Michael Saunders to start the sixth and he advanced on the balk and tagged up on a fly out to center. The extra 90 feet became critical when Kevin Pillar’s infield single tied it. Todd Frazier made a diving stop on the play at first base and Rodon took one too many steps to tag first base just behind the slide of Pillar.

Rodon allowed two earned runs and six hits with two walks.

The White Sox bullpen picked up the slack. Matt Albers, Nate Jones and Zach Duke combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings to get the ball to Robertson. Robertson then pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam for his 19th save in 21 tries.

Today on CSN: White Sox continue series with Blue Jays

Today on CSN: White Sox continue series with Blue Jays

The White Sox take on the Blue Jays this afternoon, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: R.A. Dickey (4-8, 4.08) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.29)

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White Sox: No timeframe for Zach Putnam, surgery an option

White Sox: No timeframe for Zach Putnam, surgery an option

Zach Putnam is weighing his options after he had a second opinion on Friday and surgery is one of them.

The White Sox reliever went on the disabled list Tuesday with ulnar neuritis in his right elbow. Putnam, who has a 2.30 ERA in 25 games this season, last pitched on Sunday in Cleveland.

“(Surgery is) possible,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “But again, we are exploring all the options. We want to make sure we have all the possibilities laid out before us. It’s just one of the things we are considering.”

“Still parceling through the options and at this point we don’t have a specific timeframe for him.”

The White Sox bullpen already is short-handed after losing Jake Petricka to potentially season-ending hip surgery earlier this month. Daniel Webb is out for the season after he had reconstructive elbow surgery earlier this month.

The White Sox bullpen currently features three rookies as result of those injuries and manager Robin Ventura doesn’t see any way of avoiding using them in key spots. Michael Ynoa and Chris Beck both got in and out of trouble and earned holds in Boston.

“We’re gonna have to find a way to get nine innings in and they’re gonna get tested,” Ventura said. “I thought Michael did a nice job the other day. I think even Beck after the first hitter, it could have been a mess. I thought he really showed what he’s made of by coming back. He gave up the sac fly and that was it.”