Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/29/12

Going into this season, the Los Angeles Angels thought they might have the best rotation in the American League, if not all of the majors. They have good reason to think that way again.

The Angels sent top infield prospect Jean Segura and two well-regarded minor league pitchers to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday in exchange for Zack Greinke. The right-hander joins a rotation that had started to fray around the edges over the past month. In the 24 games before Friday, Angels starting pitchers had a 5.72 ERA. Take away ace Jered Weaver's six starts in that time, and the collective ERA jumps to 7.04.

"We're better. There's no doubt about that," manager Mike Scioscia said before the Angels beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Friday night. "It's going to take more than one guy, and hopefully we're moving towards that. C.J. (Wilson) has been consistent. Weave has been incredible. The other three spots have been a little hit and miss.

"We're working towards hopefully have those five spokes of the wheel giving us a chance to win every night."

In Greinke, the Angels add the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, a 28-year-old pitcher still in his prime. Greinke was 9-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 21 starts for the Brewers this year.

"Obviously we're excited to acquire a guy like Zack Greinke -- Cy Young Award, All-Star," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "It's a quality major league pitcher at a time when they're difficult to find and to access. We're giving up a fair amount to get him in here."

Segura was the Angels' top-rated prospect (behind rookie outfielder Mike Trout). The two Class AA pitchers also shipped to Milwaukee -- right-handers Johnny Hellweg and Ariel Pena -- were ranked fourth and ninth on Baseball America's list of the Angels' top prospects.

Greinke will make his Angels debut Sunday against the Rays. The Angels could have held him back a day and started him during their four-game series in Texas against the first-place Rangers, but Scioscia said it was more important to keep Greinke in his routine. Greinke pitched Tuesday for the Brewers and was scheduled to make his next start Sunday on the usual four days' rest.

Greinke is in the final year of his contract and can become a free agent this winter. He turned down a contract extension offer from the Brewers earlier this month, reportedly for five years and over $100 million. Dipoto said he had no discussions with Greinke or his agent, Casey Close, on a contract extension before making the trade for Greinke.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Dipoto said.

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