As the Los Angeles Dodgers were said to be interested in multiple marquee free-agent starting pitchers last winter, team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman stated the club was not going to discuss a contract extension with Zack Greinke.
The Dodgers didn’t sign Jon Lester, Max Scherzer or James Shields, but still had a rotation led by Clayton Kershaw and Greinke.
Greinke of course went on to have a historic 2015 season, easily the best of his career, and arguably at the most opportune time.
He finished 19-3 while leading the Majors with a 1.66 ERA, 225 ERA+ and 0.84 WHIP.
Predictably, Greinke opted out of the three years and $71 million remaining on the contract he signed with the Dodgers in December 2012.
His free agency resulted in a bidding war between the Dodgers and rival San Francisco Giants that played out over multiple days. It concluded with the Arizona Diamondbacks stealing the show, and Greinke, by agreeing to a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the 32 year old.
San Francisco rebounded Saturday by agreeing to terms with Jeff Samardzija, while Los Angeles continues to explore their options.
According to Molly Knight on Vice Sports, the Dodgers potentially could have avoided losing Greinke to Arizona had they held extension talks earlier this year:
Those close to Greinke said it was a fatal, and exasperating mistake, for the Dodgers not to engage Greinke in contract extension talks back in the spring and summer. According to sources close to Greinke, he was willing to talk. The club never made an offer.
Greinke himself stated in February he was open to discussing an extension, but declined to address if he would exercise his opt-out clause. Greinke deflected questions about his contract status throughout the season.
During an August interview with MLB Network Radio, Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said the club would wait until the offseason to address the Greinke situation.
After a three-year run during which Greinke went 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA, the Dodgers will shift gears, still searching for their first World Series title since 1988.