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Stockpiling aces: Angels acquire Zack Greinke from Brewers for three prospects

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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The weekend leading into Tuesday's trade deadline started off with a bang on Friday night as one of the biggest starting pitching chips on the market is officially on the move.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, who first reported and soon confirmed the trade with the assistance of his colleague Jon Paul Morosi, the Milwaukee Brewers have traded right-hander Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels for a package that includes shortstop Jean Segura, along with pitchers John Hellweg and Ariel Pena.

(According to Baseball America, they are the Angels second, fourth and ninth-ranked prospects respectively.)

Well then. Jerry Dipoto's aggressive first year as Angels general manager continues with this blockbuster. With a rotation that already included All-Stars Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, he now adds another ace type to the mix and in the process completes a potentially horrifying top three to match up against for those who dare challenge the Angels come October.

And let's not overlook the fact that Dan Haren, who has struggled this season with a lingering back injury, is off the DL now and his hopeful return to full health could then give Mike Scioscia a powerful hand of four aces.

Of course then there's the X-Factor known as Ervin Santana, who's certainly capable of being a top-of-the-rotation difference-maker, but is currently closer to a tune-up in the minor leagues thanks to a miserable first four months. If he ever gets right, though, the Angels begin to look like the team to beat in baseball.

Well, pending how the rest of the trade deadline dealings play out and good health, of course.

It's also interesting to note that Yahoo! Sports Tim Brown reported the Texas Rangers were in on Greinke right up until the very end. That would indicate the balance of power in the American League West could have easily swung in their direction this weekend, and this move serves as more than just an addition for the Angels, but an impediment of their No. 1 rivals plans as well.

Bottom line, though, it's a big, big move for Jerry Dipoto that sets the pace for the next 96 or so hours. Now we'll just sit back and see how the Rangers respond (you know they will) and how the other starting pitchers on the market fall into place.

Should be fun.

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