Dodgers News: Zack Greinke Comments On Free Agency, Daniel Murphy Home Run
Dodgers News: Zack Greinke Comments On Free Agency, Daniel Murphy Home Run
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

“That would be nice,” Zack Greinke said about a potential return with the Los Angeles Dodgers only minutes into his first offseason interview. “I guess that is my whole response.”

With the Dodgers getting eliminated by the New York Mets in the National League Division Series, Greinke has more free time than he, and the club, likely anticipated to mull over his opt-out clause.

The soon-to-be 32-year-old right-hander signed a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers in December 2012, and opting out in the coming weeks, which is largely considered a forgone conclusion, will leave a guaranteed $71 million on the table over the next three seasons.

Pitching in Clayton Kershaw’s shadow since joining the Dodgers, Greinke took center stage this season, leading the Majors with a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. With Kershaw taking the mound in Game 4 on short rest, Greinke was tasked with helping pitch the club into the NL Championship Series.

He allowed three runs and had nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Although Greinke was not perfect, the elimination loss can be tied to Daniel Murphy and the Dodgers’ inability to land a knockout hit on Mets starter Jacob deGrom with runners in scoring position.

Murphy’s RBI double gave New York a 1-0 lead in the first inning. He then went from first to third base on a Lucas Duda walk as the Dodgers were in a shift and no one went to cover the bag. He then scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the game.

Murphy’s solo home run in the sixth inning gave the Mets the decided 3-2 lead. The home run came on a full-count pitch Greinke delivered from the stretch despite a runner not being on base.

“He was taking really good swings and really good takes. I was trying to do something different,” Greinke explained. “I did [it] earlier on [Lucas] Duda and it worked. But it didn’t work that time. I was pitching good out of the stretch, so I felt confident both ways. If he was seeing something from me in the windup, I wanted to switch it up.”

As for the mental lapse that allowed Murphy to take the costly extra base, Greinke only said someone needed to cover, whether it be himself, rookie shortstop Corey Seager (positioned to the right of second base), or catcher Yasmani Grandal. Seager later took responsibility for the mishap.

Coming off a Cy Young-worthy season, Greinke has a three-day window following the conclusion of the World Series to formally make his decision. The World Series begins Tuesday, Oct. 27, with Game 7 scheduled for Wednesday. Nov. 4.