The Los Angeles Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations just over one year ago, setting the wheels in motion for a busy and interesting offseason. The Dodgers figure to again be busy this winter, with Zack Greinke at the center of discussions.
The soon-to-be 32-year-old right-hander can exercise the opt out clause in his contract and join the free agent market with the likes of Johnny Cueto and David Price. While Greinke hasn’t made any formal announcement, he will opt out and may be in line for a lucrative new deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
Zack Greinke will opt out of a contract that has $71 million over three years remaining, according to sources, and one GM suggested he should get multiple offers for $125 million over five years, at a minimum, with the likely winning bid at about $150 million over five years, or perhaps even more.
Greinke signed a six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers in December 2012, joining Clayton Kershaw to form a two-headed monster atop the starting rotation. Kershaw largely dominated headlines over the last three seasons, but 2015 was Greinke’s turn in the spotlight.
He led the Majors with a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. If not for Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta’s strong second half of the season, Greinke would be a lock to win the National League Cy Young Award.
In the three seasons Greinke has spent with the Dodgers thus far, he’s 51-15 with 2.30 ERA, 2.97 FIP, and 1.03 WHIP over 92 starts. For as valuable as he’s been, signing the right-hander to a longterm deal and an excess of $100 million doesn’t exactly mesh with Friedman’s or general manager Farhan Zaidi’s philosophy.
Additionally, there may be some health concern as Greinke has received a lubricating injection in his right elbow during Spring Training beginning in each of the last three years.
Greinke has a three-day window following the conclusion of the World Series to formally make his decision. Should it go the distance, Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday. Nov. 4. For his part, Greinke said after his Game 5 loss re-signing with Los Angeles “would be nice,” should he elect to opt out.