We’ve already published some early reactions last night to Zack Greinke’s six-year, $206.5MM contract with the Diamondbacks, yet the baseball world has plenty more to say about the industry-shocking deal. Here’s some more opinions and news…
- It will take more than just Greinke to make the D’Backs the NL West favorites in 2016, MLB.com’s Mike Petriello writes. That said, the team was on track to improve even without Greinke, and his addition obviously greatly upgrades the rotation, which was Arizona’s greatest need.
- The Dodgers made a curious choice in not spending more to land Greinke, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi opines. While Arizona surpassed all industry expectations for Greinke’s contract, the Dodgers have the financial might to never be outbid on any player they truly want, and the fact that they were willing to offer Greinke a five-year, $155MM deal indicates that there was legitimately interest on Los Angeles’ part. With Greinke gone, the Dodgers now have to spend either money or prospects to acquire another ace.
- Had the Dodgers been willing to part with some top prospects, they could’ve landed Cole Hamels from the Phillies last season and already had another long-term ace on hand to cushion the blow if Greinke left, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes. While the Dodgers, like any team, are loath to move their best minor leaguers, Rosenthal argues that L.A. is in unique position to instantly reload the farm system given how much they’ve spent to dominate the international talent market.
- The Dodgers’ offer already put them beyond their comfort zone, and the team believed they were on the verge of welcoming Greinke back, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. The Dodgers thought “the issue was more about how to structure a deal and less about whether there would be one.” For Dodger fans, this is the clearest sign yet that the team wants to get a younger roster, as it is “terrified” of being hamstrung by too many unreliable veterans on huge contracts, a la the Yankees and Phillies of recent years.
- Despite this fear, the Dodgers don’t really have all that many long-term salary commitments, as ESPN’s Buster Olney points out in his latest subscriber-only column. Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Brett Anderson and Alex Guerrero all come off the books after 2017 while Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy are all free agents after 2018. Like Morosi and Shaikin, Olney points out that the Dodgers now face extra pressure from their fans as, after years of exorbitant spending, a star player has now left for financial reasons.
- From the Diamondbacks’ perspective, Olney reports that some around the industry feel the club could eventually have to cut costs due to the signing, as the Snakes did for spending so freely in the years leading up to their 2001 World Series title. Still, Arizona’s payroll is greatly helped by the fact that Paul Goldschmidt’s contract has become a huge bargain.
- Other teams aren’t pleased with the signing, ESPN’s Jayson Stark tweets, noting that the D’Backs have received almost $80MM in revenue sharing payments over the last three years. (As other writers have responded in other tweets, however, it seems like teams would be just as upset if the D’Backs pocketed the money instead of spending it on players.)
- With the Greinke market escalating to such incredible heights, Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle argues that the Giants were fortunate to get out of the hunt rather than commit so much money to a 32-year-old pitcher. Jenkins feels the Giants could pivot to signing both Mike Leake and Jeff Samardzija, just to increase the heat on the Dodgers. One of those steps has already been taken, as the Giants agreed to a five-year deal with Samardzija today.