Los Angeles Dodgers: Making the case of trading for Zack Greinke

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Dodger Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 31: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Dodger Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Some fans seem to want the Los Angeles Dodgers to trade for old friend Zacak Greinke. Here is our case for a Greinke case and what it would take to happen.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are undoubtedly going to make some moves this offseason. It is rather hard to predict exactly what the Dodgers will do with so many different routes to take and the front office’s tendency to surprise us all.

Last offseason, the Dodgers front office shocked the entire baseball world by trading for old friend, Matt Kemp. Kemp was traded from the Dodgers prior to the 2015 season as the front office wanted to get his contract off the books.

After three seasons away from LA, the Dodgers reacquired Kemp to get Adrian Gonzalez, Scott Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy off the books. Kemp was not expected to be a Dodger by Opening Day but ended up being an all-star, an MVP candidate at midseason and hit the Dodgers first home run in the 2018 World Series.

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This offseason, there is another surprising old friend that the Dodgers could look to target in Zack Greinke. Greinke signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks after the 2015 season for a massive six-year, $206 million contract.

The Dodgers seemed to be interested in Greinke then but did not want to pay that huge contract, something that is a trend in LA.

Now, with the Diamondbacks shopping Greinke, the Dodgers could do the same thing the front office did a year ago and acquire another former player on a big contract. However, instead of this being a pure financial move, this would be one to shore up the pitching rotation.

Would the Dodgers make a deal with the rivaled Diamondbacks? I am not entirely sure. However, we have already outlined the massive benefits of running a six-man rotation in LA and Greinke could help the Dodgers do that.

Greinke is still a good pitcher, tossing 207.2 innings last season to the tune of a 3.21 ERA. He is great in Dodger Stadium and has the knack for performing in big moments.

Greinke is still owed a lot of money and the Dodgers and Diamondbacks would have to work out some sort of financial agreement. Here are the trade details that make the most sense.

The trade:

Yes, the Los Angeles Dodgers would be trading Matt Kemp to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It has to be done to make sense financially and stay under the luxury tax.

Trading Kemp and Wood would amount to about $25 million, assuming that Wood gets $7 million in arbitration this season. Kemp’s baseline salary is $21 million, however, the Dodgers would be paying the initial $3.5 million of it.

Meanwhile, Greinke’s is owed $95.5 million over the next three seasons with $62.5 million deferred from 2022-2026. If the Dodgers have to pay anything more than $15 million of that deferred money ($3 million per year) this deal cannot be done. However, $3 million a year is more than manageable.

The Dodgers would be responsible for paying all of the $95.5 million over the next three years but that is not a terrible thing considering the rest of the contracts on the roster.

LA would only be paying $6.5 million more than they would be with Kemp and Wood this season for a pitcher that could give the Dodgers the best rotation in baseball.

Rich Hill‘s contract is over after this year and that frees up $18.67 million and Hyun-Jin Ryu won’t be paid the $17.9 million that he is being paid this season for the qualifying offer. That is $36.67 million freed up in the starting rotation. Greinke is set to make $32 million.

The Dodgers would stay under the luxury tax and wouldn’t be financially restricted from Greinke, who would get three final years with the Dodgers.

Greinke’s contract would end right when Corey Seager‘s arbitration ends, meaning the Dodgers can afford to pay him the massive contract he will be worth. Clayton Kershaw‘s contract will also end, meaning the Dodgers could even go out and get whoever the best pitcher is on the market to pitch alongside a (hopefully) dominant duo of Walker Buehler and Julio Urias.

Trading for Greinke helps the Dodgers’ chances now without hurting the team’s long-term future. Sure, it would cost Kemp, Wood and a mid-tier prospect in Mitchell White, but it would still make the team better.

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This would give the Dodgers a viable six-man rotation consisting of Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Zack Greinke, Rich Hil, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias next season. That is scary good.