San Francisco Giants: Greinke Drama Over, And It Isn’t Horrible


Zack Greinke was signed to a six-year deal worth a reported $34.3 million per year. And it wasn’t by the San Francisco Giants, but it also wasn’t the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Arizona Diamondbacks decided that they were going to make a splash in the free agent market, and they did. Not only did they get an ace, but one that is just hitting his prime. They also were able to take him away from the Dodgers, who are currently the defending champions in the NL West.

It looks like both the Dodgers and the Giants weren’t going to go six years. And that is probably a good decision for both teams, but especially for the Giants.

The Dodgers lose out the most at this point. Barring a trade, any of the other options on the table are a huge step down from Greinke. On the other hand, the Giants didn’t have a Greinke last year, and still competed well with all of their injuries. So the Giants were buying a new piece, the Dodgers lost a piece. They will get a draft pick at the end of the first round as compensation for losing Greinke, and Arizona forfeits it’s pick (originally 13th).

The Giants still have an opportunity to upgrade the rotation, it just won’t be a co-ace. We will have to settle for a run-of-the-mill number two starter. Ah shucks. Look, things could be worse.

Again, whether the Dodgers trade for another starter, or sign one the of the remaining free agents, they are looking at at least four to five wins less than what Greinke gave them last year. So it will be a slight decline.

But what about the team that got Greinke?

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The Diamondbacks swooped in and offered a sixth year because they needed a number one starter. It could be an overpay that will most likely look good the first few years.

But that sixth year, man that is tough to see value in. A 38-year old starter making $34 million may be the norm in 2021, but I don’t believe salaries will rise to that level. If they do, bleacher seats will be $300.

But the Diamondbacks look like they want to win now. But it will hurt their payroll flexibility down the line.

Unlike the Diamondbacks, the Giants were looking for a second number one starter, since Madison Bumgarner looks like he will make the opening day starts for the foreseeable future.

The Giants are now able to continue shopping, with all that money that they had earmarked for Greinke. They may be looking to sign two number two starters.

It had been speculated that the Giants have been in talks with both Jeff Samardzija and Mike Leake. And within a CBSSports report, it is suggested that they may look to sign two of the remaining free agent arms. These include: Johnny Cueto, Hisashi Iwakuma, Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda.

If this holds true, and they sign two of the remaining starters it means one of two things: The Giants are going with a six-man rotation next year, or Chris Heston and Matt Cain will have a drop-down, drag em’ out spring training to decide who is part of the five-man. Competition is good.

So the Giants are out of the cold in the “big hurler” market for the second straight year. (They also lost out on Jon Lester last year.) But the team shouldn’t have to overspend on a pitcher anyway.

The team has several very good arms for the rotation within the Minor League system. They probably aren’t going to be seen this upcoming year, but they aren’t likely to be pitching in Sacramento three or four years from now either. They should be in the big leagues by then.

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Tyler Beede, Phil Bickford, and Clayton Blackburn are just a few of the names that are chomping at the bit. And if these prospects continue their ascent through the organization, it will make it all that easier to extend Bumgarner past his current deal. (he is signed through 2019, with team options worth $12 per year the final two years.)

The team has been cultivating their talent over the last several years, and the Dodgers have pledged to start doing the same thing. It really is the best way to keep your own stars from leaving, and replace veterans who are retiring.

The Giants lost out on one of the fish that they had their pole in the water for. The Dodgers had the fish on their line, and they threw it back in, hoping it would swim back.

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And then a snake slithered in and made this NL West more competitive. At least for the upcoming year.