One of the most sought after free agent pitchers this off season is Los Angeles Angels Zack Greinke who finished up his stint with the club this past season.
Greinke is reportedly looking to sign a huge six year $150 million contract, which has started a bidding war between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angels.
With the recent reports that the Angels are looking to shed their payroll tremendously, they may not have the capitol it takes to sign this valuable pitcher when the time arises.
The value of Greinke could rise as high as $175 million over a seven year deal according to some team sources during the Baseball Winter Meetings. If the Dodgers do end up winning the services of Greinke, this could have major implications on resigning their 2011 Cy Young Award winning ace Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw will command top dollar on the free agent market in 2013.
However their is no need for Dodger fans to panic, especially when Guggenheim Group CEO Mark Walter promised to spend big this and next off-season.
Along with the possible $5 to $6 billion dollar television deal that the Dodgers will be signing soon, money will not be an issue to signing top talent.
Yes Kershaw would get a significantly larger contract than Greinke that could exceed $200 million. One reason Kershaw is a more defined and consistent pitcher than Greinke. The 25 year old Kershaw is coming off back to back seasons leading the National League in ERA’s. He also lead MLB in strikeouts and finished just one strikeout away from being the top pitcher in 2012. Kershaw almost captured two consecutive Cy Young awards, but finished a close second to New York Mets starter R.A. Dickey.
Greinke has also been fantastic, since he won his Cy Young award back in 2009. In the past two seasons Greinke has captured 200 strikeouts with a 31-11 record with a 3.66 ERA. In 2011 he actually lead the league with 10 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Dodgers adding Greinke would only strengthen their rotation behind Kershaw., who is one of the most if not the dominate pitcher in the National League. It also helps come contract time that Kershaw is a lefty which any team would extend themselves for his services. But fear not, the Dodgers will not allow this unique commodity escape their grip in Los Angeles.
By the time Kershaw is up for free agency, he’ll be four years younger than Greinke is now, which is a huge plus. Even if Kershaw signed an eight year deal, he wouldn’t be a free agent until he was about 32 years old. How much more seasoned will this phenomenal talent be at that time? Fortunately Los Angelinos will have the privilege of finding out first hand for several years to come hopefully.
If Greinke is granted the large contract, and Kershaw is given a larger contract in 2013, then Kershaw will be the highest paid pitch in Major League Baseball. Above are Yankees CC Sebathia, Phillies Cole Hammels who signed a six year $144 million deal. Followed by Johna Santana, Barry Zito and Cliff Lee are not far behind.
These type of blockbuster deals for pitchers is nothing especially with the recent contract of San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain who now makes $127.5 million over six years.
If the Dodgers pull off this deal for Greinke, when its time for pitchers and catchers to report Spring Training Kershaw will have Greinke to thank in 2013.
The Dodgers could have the best rotation in the NL with Kershaw, Greinke, and Billingsley if all goes according to plan.