Zack Greinke Rumors: 3 Reasons the Los Angeles Dodgers Are a Perfect Fit
Zack Grienke is this year’s top pitching free agent and should sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers right away, which would make them World Series contenders.
As a result of his success, there are multiple teams looking at Grienke for their long-term plans. Among the teams are the Angels, Texas Rangers and Dodgers, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
According to Drew Silva of NBC Sports, the Dodgers are the favorites to sign Greinke. They are also looking at other pitchers like Anibal Sanchez and Ryan Dempster, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark (h/t MLB Rumors).
The Dodgers are rejuvenated after the purchase by Magic Johnson and his ownership group. They immediately began spending and improved the team for the future. They went 80-82 in 2010, 82-79 in 2011 and 86-76 this past season.
Greinke would benefit from signing with the Dodgers because they have a focus on pitching, he would get the contract he is looking for and have an easier chance at a division title and possibly a playoff spot.
Here are three reasons why Grienke is a perfect fit for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers Are Willing to Pay for Greinke
Before the 2012 season began, the Dodgers made some modest deals to fill out the rest of their roster.
They signed outfielder Juan Rivera to a one-year deal with a 2013 option. They also signed second baseman Mark Ellis and backup catcher Matt Treanor. The Dodgers filled their rotation by signing Chris Capuano to a two-year deal as a replacement for Hiroki Kuroda.
The days of limited spending ended at the end of August when the Dodgers and Boston Red Sox agreed to the trade heard around the world that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto to Los Angeles for James Loney and four minor league players.
Gonzalez and Crawford are in the second year of their respective seven-year contracts. Both contracts are worth more than $140 million each.
It was obvious that the Dodgers wanted to win at all costs, even if it meant taking on these big contracts. Entering the 2012 offseason, the Dodgers should be spending and Greinke is the first player to look at.
According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Greinke could see a contract offer of six-years and $150 million. At roughly $25 million per year, the Dodgers should meet Greinke’s asking price if they want to prove to fans how serious they are to win.
The NL West is one of the weaker divisions in baseball.
There have been three different division winners in the last four seasons. Only the NL Central has had more with four different winners in five years.
Signing with the Dodgers would give Greinke a better shot at the postseason. The Texas Rangers and surprising Oakland Athletics made it to the playoffs, while the Angels did not despite signing CJ Wilson and Albert Pujols in the offseason.
The Angels had a full season with their new players, but it didn't work out. The Dodgers only had half a year with their new players. They should have more success after a full spring training with the players they traded for and any players signing in the offseason.
The Dodgers went 35-37 against the NL West in 2012. With the addition of Greinke to the rotation, they have the opportunity to improve that record.
The Dodgers won the NL West in 2008 and 2009. However, the following season, they finished fourth. They made improvements in the past couple of years as they finished third and second in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Dodgers look to be the three-headed monster of the NL West in 2013. The addition of Greinke and a full season with last year’s acquisitions could push the Dodgers over the edge for another division title.
Focus on Pitching
In the past year, the Dodgers have focused most of their resources on pitching.
They traded for Josh Beckett and re-signed Brandon League to a three-year $22.5 million deal. Jon Heyman reports that the Dodgers “won the right to negotiate for $25,737,737” with Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu.
If Greinke were to sign with Los Angeles, the 2013 rotation would look like this: Clayton Kershaw, Greinke, Beckett, Ryu and Chad Billingsley. This could be considered one of the best rotations in all of baseball.
The Dodgers also have Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang on payroll, but they could be used as trade bait.
The Dodgers’ starters had a 3.34 ERA, tied for third in the league. Capuano, Billingsley, Kershaw and Harang went 46-40 in 122 starts.
This team already has the hitters with Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier. Now, the Dodgers have turned their attention to pitching and with the right pieces, the Dodgers could be a threat for years to win.