With the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings just over two weeks away, trade and free agency rumors are beginning to ramp up ahead of the Hot Stove season commencing.
Zack Greinke continues to reign supreme among starting pitchers available, with David Price running a close second.
Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million on his contract, signed with the Dodgers in December 2012.
The Dodgers extended the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer to Greinke, which he predictably declined.
With the San Francisco Giants among the teams in the market for a starting pitcher, San Francisco appears to be the Dodgers’ biggest threat for Greinke, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
The rival San Franciscio Giants look like they may pose a formidable threat to steal star pitcher Zack Greinke away from the Dodgers. A couple people even suggested the Giants may be the favorite, though that is speculative. The Giants are very much interested in Greinke by all appearances, and may well have made him their No. 1 target.
Without naming Greinke specifically, Giants general manager Bobby Evans recently stated in an interview taking a player from a team within the National League West the division is a “bonus.”
Greinke is coming off a career season in which he went 19-3 with an MLB-best 1.66 ERA, 225 ERA+ and 0.84 WHIP. He was named the NL Most Outstanding Pitcher by his peers and won a second consecutive Gold Glove Award.
However, Greinke came in second place to Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta for the 2015 NL Cy Young. The 32-year-old Greinke also finished behind Arrieta for NL MVP, receiving two second-place votes and placing seventh on the ballot.
While there is generally apprehension to signing a pitcher of Greinke’s age to a long-term contract, Rick Honeycutt doesn’t view it as cause for concern with the right-hander he coached over the last three seasons.
Reason being, Honeycutt believes Greinke is capable of aging in a similar manner to that of Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.
Greinke over three seasons with the Dodgers is 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA. He’s been particularly effective against the Giants since arriving in Los Angeles, going 7-0 with a 2.13 ERA.
Included in that is a 2-0 record and 2.56 ERA in three starts at AT&T Park as a member of the Dodgers.