Well there you have it. Wednesday is the last day Zack Greinke could opt for free agency, an opportunity he did not pass up. He is now officially a free agent, and easily one of the highest priorities not only for the Dodgers, but for almost every team in the league.
Greinke led the majors in ERA and had that incredible streak of not allowing runs. He’s also a finalist for the Gold Glove award and is one of the best hitters in the league when compared to his pitching counterparts. That sounds like someone anyone would want. The Los Angeles Dodgers will have their work cut out for them if they hope to bring him back.
The L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin broke the news.
Zack Greinke has officially opted out. He is a free agent. #Dodgers
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) November 4, 2015
The lone “issue” holding the Dodgers back from just giving Greinke everything he asks for is his age. He just turned 32 and Andrew Friedman comes from a culture that historically hasn’t offered huge contracts to players in that age range. It should be said, though, that the Tampa Bay Rays have considerably less money to work with than the Dodgers, so that should ease anyone freaking out’s mind just a little bit.
If the Dodgers are unable to sign him, look for them to look elsewhere to fill his role. Both Johnny Cueto and David Price are a couple years younger than Greinke and are at least somewhere comparable to his skill level. Either way, though, I simply do not see the Dodgers striking out completely if they are unable to re-sign Clayton Kershaw’s number 1a.
The Greinke-Kershaw dynamic has been a huge reason the Dodgers have won the National League West Division three years running, and have covered up several other flaws throughout the roster. The front office obviously recognizes this and has probably made re-signing Greinke their top priority, along with finding a new manager.