5 Immediate Reactions To Greinke’s Departure
So Zack Greinke is no longer a Los Angeles Dodger. To quote Forest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”
What better exercise to get fans through losing one of the franchise’s best pitchers than to go through the immediate emotional reactions fans might go through? None. There are no better ways to go through said emotions.
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So, let’s start with the absolutely first emotion:
1.) “[Curse words].”
Put differently: I was on my way home from the Dodgers Nation office, stuck in traffic and receiving text messages from what felt like everyone I’ve ever known.
No one expected the Diamondbacks to figure into Greinke’s decision, but that’s where he wound up and that’s what we had to write about.
2) The Dodgers are better off without him, “longterm”, right?
In the immediate future, the Dodgers will almost definitely miss one of the better pitchers in franchise history. Between Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, losing streaks never took complete hold, but heading into 2016, that safety net is no longer there.
Beyond this season, fans can talk themselves into the whole “well sure, but imagine the second half of that contract” angle, that almost definitely makes everyone else feel a little better.
Would the Dodgers prefer to have him back? Of course.
Can the franchise bounce back almost immediately through organizational depth? Absolutely.
3. What Next?
Who knows, honestly?
Sure, the Dodgers could go after Johnny Cueto, but he has elbow questions. After him, there might be similar solutions, but really, is there a perfect signing to try to make up for Greinke’s absence? Probably not.
So, the Dodgers will probably land one of the better value bets of the offseason while also figuring out where what would have been Greinke’s money might go.
4. Is There Still Value To Be Had?
Of course there is.
If anything, the Dodgers may have extended their relevancy beyond this season (or those immediately thereafter) based on the flexibility that comes with not paying $200 million to watch some pitcher get old.
Is there starting pitching to rival what Greinke offers right now? Of course not. Is it debatable whether starting pitching has become less important in today’s baseball? It actually might be.
5. Greinke’s Money Should Be Spent Elsewhere, Right?
Yes, in short.
There are other starting pitchers available on the market after Greinke is gone. Now, the issue is those same San Francisco Giants are still interested in anyone the Dodgers call upon, which makes everything more complicated, but the additional funds brought upon by not paying Greinke a quarter of a billion dollars frees the organization up for all kinds of opportunity.
(Opportunity is good)
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I’m in the “this is not the end of the world” camp regarding Greinke’s departure. Three of the best pitchers in baseball are now distributed between three NL West contenders. Of the three, I would take the Dodgers’ ace. The impact of Greinke going to D-Backs is not the same as what it would have been had he landed in San Francisco. The dynamic of a Kershaw/Greinke or Bumgarner/Greinke is quite different than a Greinke/D-Backs staff. If losing Greinke somehow translates into getting two good starters, I’ll take that. Our front office values flexibility, now they’ve gained a lot more of that particular commodity. I’m anxious to see what they can do with it. Bring in a Cueto or Samardjzisa, trade for Shelby Miller. Find out if Urias or DeLeon are ready to step up. Get another bat and bolster the bullpen. There’s lots to do and a lot of ways to do it. This is fun!
PhilFountain : I agree. I loved Zack and his quirky attitude but we have been stuck by too many long term, big dollars contracts. with this excess money and possibly a couple of trades, we can put together a decent pitching staff and bolster offensive strength. We need a legitimate lead off hitter that can get us 30+ stolen bases. I still like Ethier but Crawford has to go even if we eat $$$. He will be on the DL again wherever he is. Platoon Joc/Kike in CF and Kike/Peraza at 2B until somebody proves they are everyday worthy.
Dodgers55 PhilFountain Completely agree with both your points. Hard to argue we are better without him, but there are many ways to win games. He’s also unlikely to be as good as last year and he only pitches every 5 days. If we can get 2 or 3 good players instead we could still win as many games. The big test will be the postseason. Who can step up behind Kershaw? Will be interesting to see what happens. Don’t forget ARZ has Corbin behind Grienke… if he can stay healthy that’s a really nice 1-2 punch. The Giants now have Samardzija behind Bum, a potentially really good 1-2 punch. Going to be very competitive.
davesd80 Dodgers55 PhilFountain We will also have the Dave Roberts factor. He will have an offense that manufactures runs the way he played. We were so predictable under Mattingly. I also think one of our young pitchers will evolve and shine. You’re right, it will be very competitive and fun to watch. They better be on TV this year!
I think Greinke sucks.
Dodgers need to move away from signing the big name and take more of a balance approach. The Giants and Royals are showing that you need to have balance in EVERY position and not just one big bat and pitcher. Not one of the Royals batters hit below 258. average and their on base percentage was phenomena (didn’t look up stat). Greinke was good but if you can pick up 2 strong starters in lieu of one stellar starter, I’ll take that. I think picking up Miller and Cueto or Chapman would work just as well. With Ryu coming back that will help as well.
SocialNormans Picking up Miller? I assume you mean Shelby Miller. The Braves aren’t selling cheap on him. They asked for Pederson in return. Pederson is the only CF LA has, and one of the building blocks. Cueto already turned down 6 years/120 and probably figures he can get at least 6/ 150 at this point (which he likely will). Given his rough season last year, does LA really want to be caught holding that bag? This just isn’t the golden age of free agency any longer. There is not a long list of front of the rotation pitchers to be had, and the ones that are available really aren’t deserving of 5 or six year deals.
PhilFountain Agreed there. Doomsday scenario was Greinke joining SF. He’s joining Arizona and pitching in a hitter’s park, where his ERA will probably return to 2014 level (2.7) rather than another year of Greg Maddux type numbers.
I think all along Zack wanted to ‘THE MAN” but he knew that Clayton was the top dog and MadBum was the top dog in San Fran so going to the Dbags makes him “THE MAN”. These players have such be egos they aren’t playing to win but playing to cash in on HUGE contracts. I see 2 maybe 3 good years then a sharp decline after that. Good luck Zack, enjoy 3rd or 4th place next year……
illinoistoolman Darviathar PhilFountain: completely agree and he would be top dog with most teams. I also agree on the longevity point. We and most other teams have been bitten hard by those. I think Manny’s contract ended last year and I don’t think he helped us much. If management is smart with the $$ they didn’t spend, we can get pretty versatile.
It still sucks!
The Dodgers just told every player in their organization (as well as all future players) that regardless of how much you have done for the team, and regardless how good you are right at the moment, you are just a widget to plug into their metric, and whatever the value the sabremetric machine spits out, that is what you are worth, and you’ll get not a penny more.