In a stunning turn of events, the Dodgers lost Zack Greinke to an NL West rival.
For most of free agency, it seemed like the Greinke sweepstakes was between the Dodgers and Giants. This was extremely stressful for a while, until earlier today Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Arizona Diamondbacks were in pursuit of Greinke.
I honestly needed to hear that. I texted friends laughing about it. Silly Diamondbacks, go home, the grown ups are talking.
I literally did a spit-take when I read this. I’m sorry Diamondbacks. I’ll start taking you seriously.
I’ve been bouncing back and forth between “GIVE HIM ALL THE MONEY AND ALL THE YEARS” and “wait a minute maybe don’t do that”, but this is certainly a gut punch. This is further complicated because two of the top free agent pitchers signed prior to today, with David Price going to Boston and Jordan Zimmermann going to Detroit. The Dodgers still need more starting pitching than Clayton Kershaw (probably), so it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. I think I speak for all Dodger fans when I say if the Dodgers roll out Alex Wood as their number two starter next year things will not be very good.
Logically, this makes sense and it’s probably a good thing that the Dodgers didn’t go six. But man, this stings. Especially knowing the Dodgers were outbid both financially and in terms of years by a smaller-market team.
It stings, and yet, this tweet sort of made me feel better.
The deferral will make it slightly easier for Arizona to handle. The Dodgers bid a more-than-fair amount. Arizona decided to go with the “buy it now” price. $34.3 million a year for six years for a 32-year-old pitcher. I love everything about Greinke, but
Oct 10, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) delivers a pitch during game two of the NLDS against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
/.gif of Lana Kane from Archer yelling “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE”.
Greinke or no Greinke, the Dodgers still needed help in the rotation. I wrote earlier about the possibility of Kenta Maeda. Johnny Cueto is the top free agent pitcher now, and he doesn’t cost a draft pick as he switched teams during last season. He’s a very good pitcher but has had arm issues and is probably a risky signing. Other than him, the starting pitching options are sort of bleak. Rosenthal named Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir as the Dodgers fallback options if Greinke were to sign elsewhere.
The Dodgers have also not been shy about making trades out of nowhere, so I’d be shocked if they didn’t make a move out of nowhere. Yasiel Puig‘s name has been out there, and without Greinke I finally feel like he actually could be moved for a stud pitcher. If they do move Puig, maybe they use the Greinke money for Jason Heyward (who’s only 26 and arguably the best defensive player in the game).
This undoubtably makes the Diamondbacks a better team, which is scary because their offense is already legit. They still don’t have much on the hill outside of Greinke and Patrick Corbin, but their lineup and defense are both very good and they could be a huge threat next year.
As for the Dodgers, they definitely have some work to do now. I’ve been a huge fan of this front office, but this one hurts a bit. I cannot fault them at all for not topping that offer, but they just lost last years’ Cy Young runner up and a fan favorite. It’ll be interesting to see what they come up with to replace him.
It’s a moot point, but the Diamondbacks lost their number 13 pick in next years Amateur Draft. The Dodgers receive a comp pick in between the first and second rounds, giving them three picks in the top 50. If they sign a free agent that had received a qualifying offer, they will forfeit their first pick, but they will receive another comp pick if Howie Kendrick signs elsewhere.
My takeaway from this. I love Greinke. I wish him the best (except when he faces the Dodgers). Can’t blame him at all for taking that deal. Can’t blame the front office for not exceeding that deal. Let’s sit back and see what they can come up with.