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.
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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.