So Zack Greinke is no longer a Los Angeles Dodger. To quote Forest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”
What better exercise to get fans through losing one of the franchise’s best pitchers than to go through the immediate emotional reactions fans might go through? None. There are no better ways to go through said emotions.
So, let’s start with the absolutely first emotion:
1.) “[Curse words].”
Put differently: I was on my way home from the Dodgers Nation office, stuck in traffic and receiving text messages from what felt like everyone I’ve ever known.
No one expected the Diamondbacks to figure into Greinke’s decision, but that’s where he wound up and that’s what we had to write about.
2) The Dodgers are better off without him, “longterm”, right?
In the immediate future, the Dodgers will almost definitely miss one of the better pitchers in franchise history. Between Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, losing streaks never took complete hold, but heading into 2016, that safety net is no longer there.
Beyond this season, fans can talk themselves into the whole “well sure, but imagine the second half of that contract” angle, that almost definitely makes everyone else feel a little better.
Would the Dodgers prefer to have him back? Of course.
Can the franchise bounce back almost immediately through organizational depth? Absolutely.
3. What Next?
Who knows, honestly?
Sure, the Dodgers could go after Johnny Cueto, but he has elbow questions. After him, there might be similar solutions, but really, is there a perfect signing to try to make up for Greinke’s absence? Probably not.
So, the Dodgers will probably land one of the better value bets of the offseason while also figuring out where what would have been Greinke’s money might go.
4. Is There Still Value To Be Had?
Of course there is.
If anything, the Dodgers may have extended their relevancy beyond this season (or those immediately thereafter) based on the flexibility that comes with not paying $200 million to watch some pitcher get old.
Is there starting pitching to rival what Greinke offers right now? Of course not. Is it debatable whether starting pitching has become less important in today’s baseball? It actually might be.
5. Greinke’s Money Should Be Spent Elsewhere, Right?
Yes, in short.
There are other starting pitchers available on the market after Greinke is gone. Now, the issue is those same San Francisco Giants are still interested in anyone the Dodgers call upon, which makes everything more complicated, but the additional funds brought upon by not paying Greinke a quarter of a billion dollars frees the organization up for all kinds of opportunity.
(Opportunity is good)