Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman stated on Monday the club’s focus during free agency on adding pitching. Whether that means re-signing Zack Greinke, or pursuing Johnny Cueto, David Price, or any other of the starting pitchers available, Friedman did not elaborate on.
Widely viewed as the top free agents available this winter, Greinke and Price shouldn’t have a shortage of options.
Along with the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants are among the teams believed to be interested in adding an elite pitcher to their rotation.
The Cubs are expected to meet with Greinke and Price prior to the general manager meetings concluding. As the arms race will unfold over the next several days and likely weeks, the Dodgers reportedly have identified their top two targets.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Los Angeles is focused on re-signing Greinke, with Price viewed as the secondary option:
The Dodgers are targeting their own free agent Zack Greinke as their top starting pitching target, with David Price viewed as a very close second choice, a worthy fallback option indeed who could get $200 million, or more.
The Dodgers are also said to be considering mid-rotation starters:
They are looking at some of the other pitchers, as well, with Ian Kennedy a possible mid-rotation option for them. But Greinke and Price are the main game for now.
Greinke went 19-3 with an MLB-best 1.66 ERA, 225 ERA+ and 0.84 WHIP last season. He added a second career Gold Glove to his collection of hardware, and is one of three finalists for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award.
The 32-year-old right-hander opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million on his contract to become a free agent. Meanwhile Price, who is two years younger than Greinke, was 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA, 2.78 FIP and 1.08 WHIP.
He made 21 starts with the Detroit Tigers and 11 starts with the Toronto Blue Jays. Price has spent the entirety of his career in the American League.
The Dodgers’ interest in the southpaw dates back multiple years, during which time Friedman was leading the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office. Friedman was said to demand a package including Joc Pederson and Corey Seager in a trade for Price, which the Dodgers balked out.
Los Angeles now has an opportunity to acquire Price without losing any of their top prospects or young talent. However, doing so would give the Dodgers a lefty-dominant rotation with Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood all currently on the roster.