At times an overlooked aspect of free agency is the possibility of a player leaving one club to join a rival team.
With multiple rivalries across baseball, a player jumping ship has the potential to add another layer to an already historic matchup.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, that potential hinges on free agent starting pitcher Zack Greinke.
Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million left on his contract and on Friday, declined the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.
Neither decision was unexpected, though the Dodgers now face the challenge of re-signing the 32 year old, or another elite starter, to pair with Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers and Giants are among several teams interested in Greinke, with the Chicago Cubs in the picture for Greinke and/or David Price.
As for player movement within the National League West division, Giants manager Bobby Evans acknowledged there’s an added bonus that comes with such a change, according to MLB Network PR’s Twitter account:
— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) November 13, 2015
You don’t need to look far to find a player changing organizations with the Dodgers and Giants involved. David Huff spent part of the 2014 season with the Giants, then was up with the Dodgers for three games last season.
More notably, Los Angeles signed Jason Schmidt to a three-year, $47 million contract in December of 2006. However, the signing didn’t pan out as Schmidt only made six starts in 2007, missed the 2008 season in its entirety, and only started four games in 2009.
The Dodgers had better luck with Juan Uribe, though not without some patience. After signing a three-year deal in November of 2010. Coming off a season in which he won a World Series with the Giants, Uribe didn’t show much of anything until 2013.
He parlayed the contract-year success into another deal with the Dodgers and was eventually traded last season.
Should Greinke spurn the Dodgers in favor of joining the Giants, he would be part of another formidable left-right combination at the top of a starting rotation with Madison Bumgarner replacing Kershaw in the lead role.