Rumors emerged earlier this week about the Dodgers possibly interested in a reunion with right-handed ace, Zack Greinke. The Dodgers need for starting pitching help has been well documented all season long having used 14 different starting pitchers this season. So it makes sense why the Dodgers would be interested in bringing Greinke back. But is Greinke the answer for this season? I’m not convinced it’s the right move for the Dodgers. 

Greinke is having a down season by his standards, and quite frankly for the Diamondbacks, also. The Diamondbacks signed Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million contract this offseason and Greinke has not been the missing piece the Dbacks had hoped he’d be as the Dbacks are last in the NL West. This season Greinke owns a 4.17 era with a 12-4 record while only pitching 136 inning. Greinke did miss a little over a month this season with an oblique injury and has struggled since his return. In his five starts since returning from the DL, Greinke has gone 2-1 with a 6.41 era, including a 1.35 HR/9 ratio.

Greinke was due for regression after his solid 3-year campaign with the Dodgers where he posted a 2.33 era with a 51-15 (.770) record in over 600 innings. The Dbacks overpaid for Greinke, giving a 32-year old pitcher a six-year deal that would pay $33 million a year the his career into his late 30’s.

When diving into Greinke’s stats with the Dbacks this season, it looks like Greinke has suffered from home ballpark regression. When Greinke left the Dodgers he also left one of the best pitcher parks in all of baseball. Chase Field is one of the better hitters park in the league and the change in scenery has shown in Greinke’s home/away splits. This season Greinke has a 5.13 era at home including a 1.22 HR/9 ratio. You compare those numbers to the home splits Greinke had with the Dodgers, Greinke’s era was 2.04 and .79 HR/9 ratio. There’s no doubt Greinke misses Dodgers Stadium.

What all of this means is that Greinke is still a top of the rotation pitcher. Don’t let his high era and HR/9 ratio this year fool you. But that doesn’t mean he’s the right fit for the Dodgers. Yes, the Dodgers have a World Series caliber roster and are a few pitching pieces away from being front runners. I, for one, have said the Dodgers need to get a top of the line starting pitcher in order to win a World Series (I supported going all in for Chris Sale). But Greinke leaving the Dodgers this season has been a blessing in disguise.

Greinke is 32-years old and in his 13th season in the majors. That’s a lot of workload for a pitcher that has only been on the DL four times in his career and it’s showing in his offseason preparation. When Greinke left the Dodgers, Greinke had been receiving lubricating injections in his right elbow each offseason with the Dodgers. Greinke has always been blunt to the press about his health and has dealt with elbow soreness every year right around the All-Star break. With those are injury concerns that I’m okay with the Dodgers not committing $30 million a year too.

With Greinke gone, this opened the door for Julio Urias to make his debut. Urias certainly went through some growing pains his first few times on the mound, but since August he’s found his way in the majors. Urias’ August performance shows bright flashes of the Dodgers future. In August, Urias has a 1.99 era with an impressive 8.75 K/9 ratio with a 4-0 record (3 starts). With Greinke in the picture, Urias doesn’t get his shot until next season. Now that Urais has the big league experience, he’s shown flashes to start next season as the Dodgers number 2 starter behind Kershaw.

Another reason is the Dodgers already invested in their number 2 starter. Even though Rich Hill has only pitched one game for the Dodgers, the Dodgers still traded two viable trade assets to acquire him in Frankie Montas and Grant Holmes. Hill had an impressive first start against the Giants before being shut down because of a blister. By the way how bad can a blister really be! As we learned this season pitching depth can really be vital and Greinke can certainly help that, but bringing on Greinke would also block Jose De Leon from pitching next season (given that they don’t trade him in the deal).

The cost would be too high. The new general managers have shown that they are moving away from the “buy a championship” mentality. Friedman has really imposed his will on developing and acquiring our minor leagues, not trading them. It’s paid off with Seager, Urias and now we see it with Tholes. Greinke would still be owed $172.5 million from 2017 – 2021. Even as talented as Greinke is, the Dodgers won’t be included to pay that type of money for any pitcher not named Kershaw, let alone a contract that expires when he’s 38. This isn’t even including the prospects it would cost to fish Greinke away from the Dbacks.

I wasn’t on board with the Dodgers giving away two top prospects for a rental pitcher in Hill and I won’t be on board with them giving away more prospects for a pitcher that we would be on the hook for until his late 30s. Sure, the move would bring a solid 1-2-3 punch when our staff is healthy as we turn our calendar to October. It’s just a move that wouldn’t be worth price with all the young talent our team has. 

3 Keys to Guarantee the Dodgers a Division Title

About The Author

Cesar recently received a BA in Literary Journalism from the University of California, Irvine. Cesar is a Los Angeles native and currently employed with UC Irvine where he works with a center that assists first generation, minority, and low-income students achieve higher education. Cesar has a strong passion for Dodger baseball and is gratified to be able to hear the greatness of Vin Scully and Chick Hearn. Cesar has been publicized in the New University newspaper, ClutchPoints, Hypun, and OC Weekly.

11 Responses

  1. Brad Machado

    Greinke showed what a mercenary he is when he took one more year from the D’bags. How much money does one man need? He’s certainly  anchored the pitching staff for his last place team in Az.

    Reply
  2. Tmaxster

    No they should not trade for him…And I will say they absolutely will not….This year they had the injury bug but next year they have Kershaw, Maeda, Wood and McCarthy under contract if Kazmir opts out. With the year Kazmir had I would stay in Dodger Blue…
    Urias has earned an opportunity of a Starting Rotation spot and DeLeon although dealing with injury early has gone on in the last half of the year in Okie City to go 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA in a hitters league…So not much more to prove. 
    Then you have Striping who has gotten better and has very good stuff and Brock Stewart. Stewart if he can consistently pitch even close to his start against the Cubs has amazing late breaking pitches and throws 3 solid pitches. 
    Spring barring a trade shows Kershaw, Maeda, McCarthy, Wood, probably Kazmir, Urias, DeLeon, Stripling and Stewart all vying for rotation spots. 
    I would not tender offers to Hill, Anderson, or Norris….And their very well might be a wild card pitcher like an Alvarez or Mystery Guy that shows everyone magic in the Spring. Striping came out of nowhere last year as did Stewart and Dayton later in year. 
    SO the rotation does not need Greinke. My question is do they sign Jansen if the years or money get really stupid…? 
    I believe the Front Office would rather not use a designated closer and would rather use a Team approach based on stats match ups.
    The real question is who do they trade? And for who? or Whom? In the OF next year they have Peterson, Thompson, Etheir, Toles, Van Slyke Puig and depending on if they sign Utley for one more year they will have Kendrick and Hernandez and Segedin all as viable outfielders. 
    Do they re-sign Reddick the love of FS and Friedman or hopefully let him go…??
    In the infield it is not quite as crowded but still have Turner, Gonzo, Seager and Utley? Or Kendrick with Hernandez, Culberson, Tayler, Segedin and Barnes all able to play multiple back up rolls. 
    Catcher do they sign Ruiz or buy out his option? If they are as sold on Grandal as they seem then let Ruiz go and bring up Barnes as it will be good to evaluate him and he can play multiple positions. 
    I think the Dodgers will be traders next year. Trading some Outfield guys and possible a pitcher or two perhaps someone like Wood and Striping…
    It will be interesting to see what they get in return..
    By the way Baseball is a business. Period. The Dodgers made that very
    clear with the mercenary trading of AJ Ellis. Greinke got the most money
    and guaranteed years he could.  That is what he should do for his
    family. He alone knows what he needs going forward. And perhaps he
    wanted to be a #1 instead of always second to Kersh.. We will never
    know..But do not get angry at players for getting the maximum they can.
    It is their livelihood. They provide for their family and their future.
    Greinke gave us very good years. He competed as hard as he could and was
    brilliant. He earned that money if that is the going wage…. Good for
    him he is a great baseball player. 
    I am a Dodger fan since I was 6. I appreciate the players and root for the team. So when we face Greinke next week appreciate his talent but lets try to beat him….

    Reply
  3. LonoBird

    No, pursue other pitchers…promote de Leon and keep Urias.

    Reply
  4. JMHardinwrites

    I don’t want the Dodgers going for Greinke again but for reasons that have nothing to do with numbers. He walked away from the Dodgers in the offseason because we wouldn’t pay him enough. No matter how well he does in the future or how big a bargain we can get him for I’ll never root for him again. We weren’t good enough for him after last season and I don’t think he could ever eat enough crow or humble pie for me to be able to stomach him in Dodger Blue again. As much loyalty as the team owned AJ when they let him go (all always think they should have let him know the trade was a possibility, esp when Cooch knew so early that he might be coming to us) Zack’s lack of loyalty to the team will always leave a bad taste in my mouth,

    I know baseball’s a business, but I refuse to accept that as an excuse for someone being an asshole. Showing respect will always trump numbers when all other comparisons are close. But that’s me, and I have no problem judging athletes on more than just their stats. Always have, always will.

    Reply
  5. Brad Machado

    Tmaxster They have to worry about signing Turner first. He is in line for a fat contract even at his age. I think I would also resign Utley. He appears to be a real team leader and is still rather productive. Let Ethier walk too. He hasn’t been worth anything for the last several years anyhow. Let the garbage pitchers leave. Wood, Anderson, Baez, Howell. If only Friedman remembered that he’s in Los Angeles and not Tampa Bay……..

    Reply
  6. Tmaxster

    Brad Machado Tmaxster Ehteir is under contract next year so they would need to pay him and waive him and if he can hit like he did in 2015 they will probably keep him. I think they will sign Utley for one more year. 
    I would sign Turner unless he also gets insane as far as years go. I think they sign him…
    Anderson does not have a contract for next year and will be gone. Wood has value as trade bait I think as he should be a solid end of rotation guy and a lefty and under control for a couple of more years. 
    Baez makes all of us nuts as he is snail like to the plate and throws a lot of home run balls….
    I think Howell is not under contract.

    Reply
  7. Tmaxster

    JMHardinwrites We do not agree. As Teams will unilaterally trade or cut a player without notice. Example  AJ Ellis why should the player not get paid whatever they can? Loyalty must run both ways and baseball teams are mercenary. So players should and do go usually with the best situation for them and their family to think otherwise is rather juvenile I think….
    Why do you hold the players to a higher standard than the Teams..?

    Reply
  8. walterkeif

    F#*k Greinke. He’s a damn mercenary who went to the highest bidder, championship be damned. He’s reaping what he sowed.

    Reply
  9. Brad Machado

    Amen Walter. How much money is enough? At least he’s the Ace of a last-placed team.

    Reply
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