Zack Greinke will be the biggest pitcher on baseball's free agent market, with no shortage of suitors lining up with money in hand.
He's a perfect target for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Those aren't necessarily ace-like numbers, but he'd be an excellent No. 2 starter, especially behind the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw.
Los Angeles Times reporter Steve Dilbeck reports general manager Ned Colletti believes the Dodgers could be in the market for a starting pitcher this offseason:
“I would say a starting pitcher is what we’re seriously going to have to look at. We don’t know what we’re going to get from either players who are either recuperating right now or looking at surgery. We can’t wait until we find out something that you can’t adjust to.”
Ted Lilly is old. Chad Billingsley is young and talented, but his health has to be a concern
Dilbeck spoke to some of those depth issues as well, stating:
Lilly, who will be 37 in January, is coming off arthroscopic shoulder surgery, and the Dodgers won’t know if Billingsley will require Tommy John surgery until the middle of next month. Even then if he avoids surgery, can you really count on him being healthy all year?
Those problems should lead the Dodgers to Greinke. We already know they're willing to spend the money, based on their in-season spending this year, making Greinke's high price a possible non-issue.
After making big acquisitions during the season, a ton of pressure will be on Don Mattingly's team next season. A high-budget team rarely has an excuse for losing, at least in the eyes of its fans.
Greinke is a proven National League pitcher, and he has last year's experience in a major media market.
His proven production would provide insurance behind Kershaw, while giving the Dodgers a noticeable boost.
Los Angeles may be weary about chasing another expensive player, but Greinke is worth it in this situation. They don't need another hitter and contending teams can never have enough pitching in the postseason.
If Billingsley remains healthy, signing Greinke would give the Dodgers one of baseball's best rotations. When you pair it with their adequate offense, you have yourself an extremely dangerous player in the NL next season.
Pitchers are scary because they're fragile—and often times expensive—but taking the plunge is necessary sometimes.
For a team that's already opened up the checkbook, that time is now for the Dodgers.