Dodgers righty Zack Greinke has officially opted out of his contract with the Dodgers, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. The widely-expected move puts him onto the open market as one of the league’s most appealing free agents.
Greinke signed with Los Angeles as a free agent before the 2013 season, locking up a $147MM guarantee over six seasons. That was a nice enough payday as it was, but his representatives at Excel Sports Management were also wise to negotiate a provision allowing the veteran to opt out after the 2015 season. He’ll give up a guarantee of three years and $71MM, but Greinke figures to earn quite a bit more than that on the open market.
While Greinke is now 32 years of age, he’s also coming off of a sublime 2015 campaign. He led the league with a 1.66 ERA over 222 2/3 frames. Greinke retired 8.1 batters per nine via strikeout and induced a 48.0% groundball rate while permitting only 1.6 BB/9 and a league-low 0.844 WHIP.
There were some fortunate elements to Greinke’s campaign, to be sure. He allowed a .228 BABIP, 86.5% strand rate, and 7.3% HR/FB rate, all of which were on the beneficial side as against his career norms. Unsurprisingly, ERA estimators did not quite support the incredible run prevention that resulted.
That’s not to take away from Greinke’s accomplishment or his value. He’s long been one of the league’s better pitchers, and always seemed destined to opt out and cash in. But it’s fair to say, too, that he timed his career-best season perfectly.