It’s been a little quiet lately for the Dodgers in regards to the Hot Stove. All of us are eagerly waiting to hear that they have re-signed Justin Turner and/or Kenley Jansen. That announcement(s) probably won’t come soon enough for our liking, if at all. Meanwhile, a team within the division made a trade earlier this week. The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Jean Segura, Zac Curtis and Mitch Hanover to the Seattle Mariners for Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte.
Buster Olney had a column this morning about that trade, and if it will lead to the Diamondbacks doing more trades to lower payroll. The man currently responsible for 1/3 of Arizona’s payroll is of course old friend Zack Greinke. There were rumors at the trade deadline that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks had discussed a trade for Greinke. If the Diamondbacks are looking to lower payroll, would they be speaking with LA once again?
Greinke is coming off a down year. After having a fantastic year with the Dodgers in 2015, he did not start 2016 well. His ERA was over 6.00 for most of April. Greinke started to put it back together, and had a 10-3 record with a 3.62 era and 1.16 WHIP when he was sidelined with an oblique injury at the end of June. He ended the season with a 4.37 era, 1.273 WHIP, 134 strikeouts and allowed 41 walks in 158.2 innings pitched.
In the talks that the Dodgers and Diamondbacks had previously, it was reported that the Dodgers offered to pay $25 million of the $34.4 million annual average that Greinke is owed through 2021. The Diamondbacks rejected the offer, not wanting to retain any of the contract. If the Diamondbacks are looking to lower their payroll, maybe they would be more willing to eat some of Greinke’s contract. If Greinke continues on a downward trend, the deal could become a huge burden on the club.
The Dodgers are also looking to lower their own payroll. But they could take a chance again on Greinke, at the lower price. The starting pitching market is slim, and a pitcher known well to the organization could be an easy fix. The Dodgers had not wanted to sign Greinke to six seasons — perhaps if they got him at a reduced rate for that length they would be willing to trade for him.
And who would the Diamondbacks like in return, to justify getting rid of a starting pitcher of Greinke’s worth? Arizona would be looking for major value to deal Greinke and eat some of his contract, especially from a rival team within their own division. The Dodgers do have one of the best farm systems in all of the major leagues. One would assume they would be looking past Cody Bellinger, as they have an All-Star first baseman already in Paul Goldschmidt, they surely would be interested in Jose De Leon, Julio Urias, as well as any other top prospects.
All in all, for a trade between Arizona and Los Angeles to happen, Arizona would have to be willing to eat a great deal of Greinke’s contract, as well as getting who they can get in return. It does not seem that this is a deal that has a great chance of happening, but Arizona’s new front office might be looking to unload Greinke’s deal, giving him a chance of returning to Dodger Blue.