The Los Angeles Dodgers lost one of their two aces when free agent Zack Greinke elected to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Arizona interrupted a bidding war between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants to sign Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million contract.
Though the deal sets a Major League Baseball record for highest average annual value at $34.42 million, it includes over $60 million in deferred salaries.
While the Dodgers reportedly had re-signing the 32 year old at the top of their list this offseason, there was some skepticism as to how likely that would take place given Greinke’s rumored issues with the clubhouse.
However, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said he was not told irritation with the clubhouse was a factor in Greinke signing with the Diamondbacks, per ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
Andrew Friedman said he heard "zero" from Zack Greinke's side that the Dodgers clubhouse culture was a factor in his not returning
— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) December 9, 2015
Greinke’s former batterymate A.J. Ellis said a reported rift between Greinke and Yasiel Puig was a non-factor, via Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller:
“It couldn’t be further from the truth, Zack wanting to leave because of Yasiel,” Ellis said. “One thing Zack really respects and loves is talent. When Yasiel is healthy, Zack loves watching him play.”
Greinke is coming off the best season of his career as he went 19-3 with MLB-bests 1.66 ERA, 225 ERA+ and 0.84 WHIP. Over three seasons with the Dodgers Greinke finishes 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA, including 28-5 with a 2.04 ERA at Dodger Stadium.
In his career at Arizona’s Chase Field he is 6-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 10 starts. Along with signing Greinke, the Diamondbacks further bolstered their rotation by completing a trade with the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller.