The Milwaukee Brewers lost Tuesday's road opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, but Zack Greinke's excellent start—he struck out five and walked nobody in seven three-hit innings—was a win for the fans out there who are more interested, at this point, in trade rumors and rebuilding than they are the Brewers' increasingly remote postseason odds. After an erratic July that manifested itself on and off the field, Greinke came through with his best start in more than a month, reaffirming his status as the best pitcher on the trade market with Cole Hamels signed long term.
Greinke, 28, is going to be an extremely expensive free agent after the season, which makes him a perfect acquisition for a team focused exclusively on the stretch run in 2012. The St. Louis Cardinals likely aren't that team, thanks to a weirdly and suddenly stable rotation, but two teams in the AL West—the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels—are said to be interested in pulling the trigger on a deal that would necessarily involve a top prospect.
12.5 games out of the National League Central lead, the Brewers look ready to chalk this year up to experience and start over. Greinke will go a long way toward that—but I'd trade him right away, if I were them, just in case.