Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

On the first day pitchers and catchers reported for Spring Training this year Zack Greinke’s opt-out clause that allows for him to become a free agent after the 2015 season concludes was a talking point. The Los Angeles Dodgers decided against signing the right-hander to an extension over the winter, and Greinke said he wouldn’t decide on his course of action until the season ended.

While the Los Angeles Dodgers certainly envision themselves making a deep October run that carries over into November, that would also mean Greinke’s day of reckoning had all but arrived. In discussing Greinke’s contractual situation, one National League general manager believes the soon-to-be 32 year old is likely to field five-year contract offers and ultimately re-sign with the Dodgers, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe:

Greinke will be 32 when he becomes a free agent and even with a great season it doesn’t appear he will get any more than five years, according to a major league source. Five years, $150 million? “That seems to be a good starting point,” said one NL GM who predicts it could even higher. “If I were a betting man, I’d say he stays with LA. They’ve got the dough.”

Should Greinke elect to opt out, a likelihood given the financial benefit that’s expected to come with it, he would leave a guaranteed $77 million on the table over the next three years. Greinke this season is earning $23 million.

For comparison, last offseason saw 31-year-old Jon Lester receive a six-year, $155 million contract from the Chicago Cubs; Max Scherzer, at the time 30 years old, sign a seven-year, $210 million deal (to be paid in full over 14 years) with the Washington Nationals; and James Shields, 33, sign for four years and $75 million with the San Diego Padres.

Although he’ll be older than all but Shields at the time of potentially signing a new contract, Greinke has aided his causes with a dominating 2015 season. He’s 16-3 and leads the Majors with a 1.68 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. Greinke’s year has him in the thick of the conversation for the NL Cy Young, if not at the forefront of it.

However, what may impact how lucrative of a market Greinke will find in free agency is the likes of Johnny Cueto, David Price and Jordan Zimmermann will also be among the pitchers available.

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About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

14 Responses

  1. jambo

    I have faith in the dodgers front office to put aside emotions and go with the best business decision with regard to which elite starting pitcher to shower $$ to.

    Reply
    • Giantkiller000

      That won’t be even close to cutting it. That’s less per year than what he has left on his contract.

      Reply
      • Evan

        Well he isn’t going to get more than Kershaw! 4yrs/108 = an average of 27m per season… I think that is as high as we are going!

      • Giantkiller000

        Kershaw got over 200 million!

        Greinke will get a 5 year deal. And it will be somewhere near 150 million

      • Evan

        that is 30m per season, which is what Kershaw makes annually! I’m saying we won’t pay him the same yearly average as Kershaw!

      • Eric

        They sure will to resign him the prices go up every season so in that context it is not the same. I like the idea of extending him a couple years on the deal and adding some money and a signing bonus. Thats creative but if he opts out 5 for 150 is a deal they just let Kendrick walk and go young on the infield w Peraza and Keki behind him and Turner at 3rd. Puig, Shchbler and Joc in the outfield. Trade Dre while he is hot and stick Crawford as the 4th guy maybe 5th if you cant trade him. Greinke will be back and if not then one of the big 4 FAs and that should be enough to win the West again. CK, Greink/Cueto/Ryu, McCarthy/Wood/Frias that doesn’t include DeLeon or Urias who could blow the doors open in the spring

  2. khf314

    What makes sense to me is to decide what the going rate and length is for a pitcher of Greinke’s stature and age. Say it’s 5 years/$30M per. He’s got $77M left on his contract, so sign him to a 2 year extension at $60M with a $14M signing bonus. Greinke is a crafty pitcher not relying on a high mph fastball. I can see him pitching effectively into his late 30s or longer a la Greg Maddux.

    Reply
  3. Patrick McCallum

    After watching the Dodgers sit around wen Maddox, Schilling and Johnson were available back in the day, I was happy to see LA pick up Greinke. They HAVE to lock this guy down. He’s a master on the mound and a wizard at bat……

    Reply
  4. RobertMKr

    He has earned the top money reward… The Dodgers are paying $83 million this year to players off the roster. Much of that will be paid off so why wouldn’t they be smart and reward a top player who does it all? Big fan here…

    Reply
  5. Blue

    Pay him whatever it takes to keep him in blue for the rest of his career.

    Reply
  6. Michael G. Jara

    I think Zack is done with Mattingly, by by Zack it was fun.

    Reply

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