MLB Rumors: Giants could sign Zack Greinke away from Dodgers

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Zack Greinke enjoyed a season for the ages in 2015 and as expected, he opted out of his deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in order to pursue one last major contract. At the time, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that the move was simply to extend with the Dodgers and get a few guaranteed years and dollars in the process.

Plans sometimes change.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the San Francisco Giants have thrown their hat in the ring in an attempt to sign Greinke, and some in the industry feel like they represent a legitimate threat to the Dodgers in that regard.

The Giants are in a unique position this winter, having lost Tim Hudson to retirement and likely allowing Tim Lincecum to finally move on. That will clear $30 million off of the payroll from 2015, giving them plenty of money to pursue Greinke.

The question for the Giants will be whether or not they are willing to commit six years to a 32-year-old pitcher. That's a big risk for a pitcher with a lot of mileage on his arm and on the wrong side of his prime.

Still, we're talking about a pitcher coming off of an historic season that nearly resulted in a Cy Young award. In 32 starts, Greinke posted a 19-3 record with a 1.64 ERA, a 2.76 FIP, a 0.844 WHIP, and a 8.1 K/9 ratio. Despite that effort, Greinke fell seven first place votes shy of taking home the Cy Young Award, finishing second to Jake Arrieta.

See where we think the MLB's top free agents will end up:

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Top MLB Free Agents 2015-2016
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MLB Rumors: Giants could sign Zack Greinke away from Dodgers

14. Yovani Gallardo

Position: Starting Pitcher
Current Team: Texas Rangers
Best Fit for 2016: Toronto Blue Jays
Notable statistic: Has averaged 191 IP since 2009

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

13. Denard Span

Position: Outfield
Current Team: Washington Nationals
Best Fit for 2016: Baltimore Orioles
Notable statistic: Career-worst -10 defensive runs saved in 61 games in 2015

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

12. Dexter Fowler

Position: Outfield
Current Team: Chicago Cubs
Best Fit for 2016: New York Mets
Notable statistic: Had a career-high 84 walks in 2015

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

11. Daniel Murphy

Position: Second Baseman
Current Team: New York Mets
Best Fit for 2016: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Notable statistic: Struck out 38 times in 538 plate appearances in 2015

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

10. Scott Kazmir

Position: Starting Pitcher
Current Team: Houston Astros
Best Fit for 2016: New York Yankees
Notable statistic: Posted >3 WAR last season for the first time since 2008

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

9. Wei-Yin Chen

Position: Starting Pitcher
Current Team: Baltimore Orioles
Best Fit for 2016: Chicago Cubs
Notable statistic: 51 home runs allowed over last two seasons

(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

8. Mike Leake

Position: Starting Pitcher
Current Team: San Francisco Giants
Best Fit for 2016: San Francisco Giants
Notable statistic: Has had at least 29 starts in each of the last five seasons

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

7. Howie Kendrick

Position: Second Baseman
Current Team: Los Angeles Dodgers
Best Fit for 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers
Notable statistic: Career .293 BA over 10 seasons

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

6. Ian Desmond

Position: Shortstop
Current Team: Washington Nationals
Best Fit for 2016: San Diego Padres
Notable statistic: 12 home runs, 38 RBIs over final 69 games

(Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

5. Chris Davis

Position: First Baseman
Current Team: Baltimore Orioles
Best Fit for 2016: Toronto Blue Jays
Notable statistic: Has 159 home runs over last four years

(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

4. Yoenis Cespedes

Position: Outfield
Current Team: New York Mets
Best Fit for 2016: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Notable statistic: .222/.232/.352 in 2015 playoffs

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

3. Johnny Cueto

Position: Starting Pitcher
Current Team: Kansas City Royals
Best Fit for 2016: San Diego Padres
Notable statistic: Had a career-high 3.83 SO/W ratio in 2015

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

2. Justin Upton

Position: Outfield
Current Team: San Diego Padres
Best Fit for 2016: San Francisco Giants
Notable statistic: Career-high 8 defensive runs saved in 2015

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

1. Jason Heyward

Position: Outfield
Current Team: St. Louis Cardinals
Best Fit for 2016: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Notable statistic: 6.5 WAR in 2015

(Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)

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Like the Dodgers, the biggest issue for the Giants is that Greinke wouldn't represent a true ace for the team. He would basically be trading in a 1-2 pairing with Clayton Kershaw for another with Madison Bumgarner. At this point in his career, he may cherish the opportunity to lead a staff, but may have to trade that for a legitimate shot at joining a contender.

Dollar figures will likely be similar from team to team. It will come down to which franchise is willing to commit six years at this stage, and the Giants may be less likely to make such a commitment having less financial flexibility than the Dodgers.

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