The Los Angeles Dodgers’ offseason began earlier than expected with the club getting eliminated from the National League Division Series by the New York Mets.
Heading into the winter the Dodgers faced two large questions — would Don Mattingly return as manager next season, and would Zack Greinke be re-signed after presumably opting out of his contract.
The first domino fell on Thursday as the Dodgers announced they mutually agreed with Don Mattingly to part ways. While Los Angeles must now hire a replacement, Greinke’s future with the club remains at the forefront of issues needing to be addressed.
Multiple Dodgers expressed their hope Greinke will be back with the team next season, and Clayton Kershaw recently joined that club, expressing his feelings in an interview with Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA:
“Yeah I want Zack back, there’s no question about it. A lot of good pitchers out there on the free agent market obviously but nobody for the money I’d rather have than Zack.”
In reflecting on the 2015 season, Kershaw specifically mentioned developing a strong friendship with Greinke, whom he’s been teammates with for three seasons.
The two have combined to be one of the best pitching duos in Major League Baseball history, but unfortunately only have personal accomplishments to show for it.
Greinke ended Kershaw’s ERA title run this season, and figures to come in ahead of Kershaw for the National League Cy Young Award; whether that also correlates to beating out Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta remains to be seen.
Greinke, who turned 32 years old on Wednesday, is expected to sign a new contract in the neighborhood of five years and in excess of $100 million. He’s said little publicly about the matter, but did have a positive view on potentially remaining with the Dodgers.