Cheap Seats

Dodgers, Greinke re-union may be unlikely

Yesterday I wrote a post about one of the Los Angeles Dodgers owners saying the team plans to significantly cut payroll in coming years.

Today, ESPN Los Angeles has a story that says the club may not only be out of the market for David Price but that it isn’t a slam dunk the team will bring back its own free agent pitcher, Zack Greinke.

According to the report:

At 32, Greinke is a free agent. Do the Dodgers wade into that pool and line up a five- or six-year, nine-figure contract, the kind of outlay it will take to sign a pitcher this good? Many people still seem to consider them the favorites to sign Greinke, but that hasn’t been the signal the team has been giving off.

The Dodgers are looking to get younger, and another mega-contract makes that more difficult. Also, team president Stan Kasten has a blanket policy against extending pitchers beyond a certain number of major-league pitches and Greinke, who has been durable throughout his career, has thrown more than 33,000.

The report goes on to say Greinke may not even WANT to return to the Dodgers:

Also, most people assume Greinke wants to come back, but his distaste for a culture that let Yasiel Puig ignore team rules for several seasons is believed to be a factor in his thinking. It will be painful to break up one of the greatest one-two pitching combinations in recent baseball history, but Clayton Kershaw probably won’t have Greinke as a teammate next season.

These revelations could greatly change the landscape of the free agent market this off-season. If the biggest spender doesn’t get involved, prices could come down as supply exceeds demand.

Are there enough teams out there with the budget to absorb nine-figure contracts for Greinke, Price, Jordan Zimmerman, Johnny Cueto?

Will teams be willing to dole out big cash for a top gun when there is a lot of middle tier pitching on the market including Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Wei-Yin Chen to name a few?

While I still believe the St. Louis Cardinals are a long shot to sign a top end pitcher, the market could be shaping up for a relative bargain.

The Redbirds have been linked to Price twice before in trade rumors and team leadership is, apparently, very fond of him.

But if Grienke wants to go someplace where there is a strong, positive culture in the clubhouse and where the team has a good chance to compete every year as opposed to trying to grab every last dollar, St. Louis could appeal to him.