LA Dodgers Rumors: Zack Greinke Opts Out Of Contract With Dodgers To Become Free Agent

LA Dodgers rumors indicate Zack Greinke has opted out of his contract. The Dodgers’ ace this season, Greinke will become a free agent during the MLB offseason if the rumors are correct. A report from USA Today states that he will leave $77 million in guaranteed salary on the table by exercising his option to get out of the deal. Greinke would have had at least three more years with the Dodgers as he finished out a six-year, $147 million contract.

Neither the Los Angeles Dodgers nor the agent for Zack Greinke has confirmed that he is a free agent yet. That is expected to come soon, but for the moment, this is still considered a rumor. While creating some stress for the new manager of the Dodgers, this could also create an interesting bidding war as other teams try to land Greinke. It’s possible that one of those teams could be the Chicago Cubs, as the Cubs lacked enough starting pitching in the MLB Playoffs. The New York Yankees could also be looking to add an ace besides Masahiro Tanaka in its rotation.

Zack Greinke Hits Home Run

There have already been a lot of LA Dodgers rumors since the team was eliminated from the postseason. The first one was that manager Don Mattingly would get fired, and that move was confirmed on October 22. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Yasiel Puig trade rumors have started up again as well. Though the Dodgers haven’t spoken publicly about dealing Puig, he was placed on waivers in August, suggesting that the front office would welcome proposals that included him.

During the 2015 MLB season, Zack Greinke posted the best stats of his career. Greinke had a 1.66 ERA, 0.844 WHIP, a 19-3 record, and 200 strikeouts. He did it all in 222 2/3 innings of work and 32 games started. Though the Dodgers did come up short in the postseason again, Greinke certainly added a number of dollars to his next contract.

For the next team that signs Greinke, he is projected to have a 15-6 record, a 2.54 ERA, and a 1.058 WHIP in the 2016 MLB season. Those are really good numbers, suggesting that his asking price could make him one of the highest-paid pitchers in baseball history. It’s possible that he could ask for a long-term deal that also has him under contract through the time he turns 40.

If Greinke had stayed in his current contract, he was slated to make $26 million in 2016, $25 million in 2017, and $26 million in 2018. The bet that Greinke and his agent are making is that he can get an even bigger salary in free agency. There are likely going to be more LA Dodgers rumors in that regard because the team seems to have unlimited amounts of money. It means the team could offer him a new deal at a higher rate just to stay in Los Angeles.

Zack Greinke In Playoffs

For the time being, the current active contracts for the Dodgers total just over $181 million. That includes money for international free agents in the Minor League system like Jose Tabata, as well as the money the team still owes to Hector Olivera for his signing bonus and Matt Kemp. Kemp will earn $3.5 million from the Dodgers in 2016. It also counts a $15 million team option for Chase Utley that might have fans doing a double-take.

As the MLB offseason really starts going and the “Hot Stove” gets turned on, there are likely to be many LA Dodgers rumors coming up. The team has several holes to fill on defense and in the bullpen, as well as dealing with the Zack Greinke issue, so the Dodgers will likely be making front page news for many months to come.

[Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images]