Monday, February 2, 2015

Greinke's cleats could be made for walkin'

After a flurry of activities during the Winter Meetings in December, not much was happening on the Dodger front in the first month of 2015.  There were minor things here and there, like Chad Billingsley officially leaving for the Phillies, and a bit of Andre Ethier trade talk, but nothing much.

Then Zack Greinke was asked to give his honest thoughts about the offseason.  He didn't mince any words:
"Going into the playoffs, I thought we were the best team in baseball. Obviously we didn't prove it. The year before, I wasn't that confident. This time, I thought it was our series to lose. To say we're better than that, I don't know if you can say that without seeing us play."
Well, that's interesting.

It's not like he flat out said, "We were good last year, but this year we suck," but it's still a bit surprising to see someone not give the cliché answers about change being for the better, and he's excited about the new players who've arrived.

Then again, maybe it's a bit refreshing that he didn't go that route, and instead showed some support to guys who've walked like Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp, and Dee Gordon.

Speaking of walking, the bigger story of this could be Greinke's contract situation after this season.  If you recall, he put pen to paper on a six-year, $147 million contract two years ago, and he's been fantastic with the Dodgers ever since, easily teaming with Clayton Kershaw as baseball's top 1-2 punch.

But like every other professional sport, the business side comes into play, and even though he has three years and $77 million left after 2015, it looks like it's 50/50 right now about staying or opting out.  If you think he's crazy, look no further than Max Scherzer's recent seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals as proof that big paydays could always be right around the corner.

Obviously, the Dodgers have to hope that Greinke doesn't actually follow through with this and stays with them through 2018.  The top three of the rotation in Kershaw, Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu are as good or better than anyone in baseball, and Greinke has four excellent postseason starts in two years.  While the Dodgers have boatloads of money to sign other pitchers, Greinke has proven to be the real deal, hence his All-Star selection this past season.

Then again, if Greinke regresses a bit in 2015, then there's no way he'll opt out and leave nearly $26 million for each of the next three seasons on the table.  I don't think anyone would do something like that.

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