UPDATE (Dec. 3, 5:15 p.m. PT): With Zack Greinke expected to soon make a decision between re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers or signing with the San Francisco Giants, his reportedly focus lies on the years and average annual value of a new contract.
Greinke is believed to desire a deal that will net him a greater annual average than what David Price received, and a contract in the neighborhood of five or six years.
According to Anthony Witrado of Bleacher Report, the Giants are willing to pay Greinke more in annual average than the Dodgers, but at fewer years:
— Anthony Witrado (@awitrado) December 4, 2015
While Jordan Zimmermann was the first prominent free-agent starting pitcher to sign this offseason, the market isn’t expected to push full steam ahead until Zack Greinke and David Price come off the board.
Price held up his end of the bargain, agreeing to a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.
Boston is expected to make the deal official once Price passes a physical.
As for Greinke, his market appears to be at a bidding-war stage between the Los Angeles Dodgers and rival San Francisco Giants.
Greinke reportedly is seeking a five- or six-year contract with an average annual value that surpasses what Price received.
Price’s deal made him the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball history, ahead of the $215 million Clayton Kershaw received from the Dodgers. Moreover, Price’s $31 million annual average tied with Miguel Cabrera for most ever by any player.
On the heels of the Dodgers reportedly being reluctant to include a sixth year in their contract offer to Greinke, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports Los Angeles may be a bit of a crossroads:
I have heard theories the Dodgers, who had a record payroll in 2015, will not allow themselves to be outbid for a piece they need so badly. And I have heard the Dodgers have a breaking point and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman places great value on the compensatory draft pick Los Angeles would get if Greinke signs elsewhere.
By virtue of extending Greinke the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, which he predictably declined, the Dodgers will receive a pick between the first and second rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft should they fail to re-sign Greinke.
The same holds true for Howie Kendrick. Brett Anderson was the lone player to accept the qualifying offer from the Dodgers.
A team that signs Greinke or Kendrick would be required to forfeit their first pick in the 2016 draft, though the top 10 selections are protected. Should the Giants sign Greinke, they would lose the (currently) No. 19 overall pick.
During Friedman’s tenure with the Dodgers the organization has essentially purchased draft picks as part of trades and been hesitant to deal away any of their selections.