As rumors have swirled around the Dodgers this offseason, one topic in particular has generated the most heated conversation among the fan base: Zack Greinke versus David Price. It’s quite the conundrum, and one the Dodgers must figure out for themselves.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, though, it sounds like the Dodgers leaning slightly to the right, as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Dodgers appear to have made their top target their own star starter Zack Greinke, who is believed to be in the market for a $30 million-a-year deal, and word is out they are also determined to upgrade their so-so bullpen and interested in adding a hitter, as well.
This little tidbit was part of a larger discussion as to whether rival executives believe the Dodgers’ front office when they say they’re interested in cutting salary this offseason. When you combine the desire to bring back Greinke, as well as bolstering the bullpen and adding a hitter, it’s easy to see why those executives don’t believe the Dodgers. None of those things will come cheaply.
Back to the Greinke / Price conversation, though. First off, of course the Dodgers would be better off with both pitchers. When we poll fans and that’s their response, we can’t help but chuckle.
On one hand, Greinke is a better-known quantity, as the Dodgers fan base has been able to watch him pitch up close for the past three seasons. This isn’t to say that’s the only difference between Greinke and Price, only that it probably factors heavily when the casual fan votes on a choice between the two.
Price is two years younger and could theoretically mean the Dodgers would receive a compensatory pick if they choose him over Greinke (Price doesn’t cost one and whichever team signs Greinke would have to send one to the Dodgers). This isn’t a huge factor, but is still something to keep in mind.
Statistically, they’re almost identical, with a slight edge in Greinke’s favor that can be explained by pitching in the National League versus the American League. Greinke pitching at Dodgers Stadium these past three years doesn’t hurt in that respect, either.
Basically, so long as the Dodgers wind up with one of these two, the rotation can round into shape around Greinke/Price and Clayton Kershaw. If Price is brought in, I’d expect the Dodgers to make another move or two so as to even out the left and right-handed pitchers currently in the rotation. Counting Kershaw and Price, along with Brett Anderson, Alex Wood and Hyun-jin Ryu, the rotation could use another right-handed pitcher.
Heyman’s report does make it sound like the Dodgers will wind up with Greinke, though; so there are worse hypothetical fans could concern themselves with.