With Zack Greinke opting out and decling the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the club’s biggest free agency need is the starting spot in the rotation behind Clayton Kershaw.
However, the Dodgers could also stand to gain from acquiring a second starter this winter.
Hyun-Jin Ryu is coming off surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and Brandon McCarthy is not expected to return until near the 2016 All-Star Game.
Come Opening Day, the Dodgers’ rotation currently projects to be composed of Kershaw, Ryu, Anderson, Wood and either Mike Bolsinger, Carlos Frias or a pitcher of that caliber.
With a market that features of a bevy of starting pitchers, reports continue to indicate Los Angeles is focused on re-signing Greinke. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers gave some thought to adding Greinke and David Price, though it appears to be an unlikely scenario:
Club officials have discussed the idea, but it’s highly doubtful they will bring it to fruition, sources say.
Greinke reportedly is seeking a new contract that will pay him $30 million annually. Jordan Zimmermann, 29, agreeing to a five-year, $110 million contract with the Detroit Tigers in a sense sets the price floor.
Moreover, Johnny Cueto reportedly rejected a six-year, $120 million contract from the Arizona Diamondbacks. While doling out a long-term contract to a pitcher over 30 years old more times than not is a risk rather than a success, there’s belief the 32-year-old Greinke can be an exception to the rule.
Rick Honeycutt, who served as Greinke’s pitching coach over the last three seasons, believes the right-hander will age gracefully and akin to Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. Honeycutt isn’t alone in making that comparison.
An ESPN survey revealed MLB executives feel more comfortable signing Greinke to a nine-figure contract ahead of Price.
Greinke is coming off a 19-3 season with MLB-bests 1.66 ERA, 225 ERA+ and 0.84 WHIP. He won a second consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award, and was named the National League Most Outstanding Pitcher by his peers.
Greinke did lose out on the Cy Young to Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta. In three seasons with the Dodgers, Greinke went 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA.