2015 Statistics: 1.66 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 8.08 K/9, 1.62 BB/9, 222.2 innings
2016 Age: 32
Position: Right-handed starting pitcher
Zack Greinke made a very compelling case to win the 2015 NL Cy Young with his incredible season for the Dodgers. Had Jake Arrieta of the Cubs and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers not also had superhuman seasons, we'd be talking about Greinke taking home his second Cy Young award of his career. The right-hander decided to opt out of his contract with the Dodgers, as players tend to do, in pursuit of more years and money. He should have no trouble finding it on the free agent market.
By opting out of his six-year deal that originally took him through 2018 with the Dodgers Greinke should be able to get a deal up there with the one that David Price will be receiving this offseason. He is a little older than teams usually feel comfortable giving big contracts to, but not being a power pitcher should work in his favor as he ages in a more graceful way. Add to that the season he just put together for the Dodgers and you have the makings for a huge contract for a team to dish out to Greinke in order to secure an ace for their team.
It's no secret that the Yankees need to bolster their rotation of injury prone and inconsistent starters. Adding a Greinke to the mix of Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, Nathan Eovaldi, and Michael Pineda would be very imposing for other teams in the AL East to face. That would allow the Yankees to not rely on the shaky CC Sabathia and the even shakier Ivan Nova as regular starters. Though the team insists that the dollars Greinke will command are out of their budget for the offseason, you can never really rule them out until a player signs elsewhere. Perhaps Hal and Hank Steinbrenner will look forward to the next couple seasons of free agents and realize that the time to add talent to their team via free agency is now, especially with a mediocre draft pick being the only thing sacrificed aside from dollars.
There will always be Greinke naysayers because of his anxiety issues when he was a member of the Royals way back when. That led to a lot of clamoring that he would never be able to handle the likes of New York without crumpling into a pile on the Yankee Stadium mound. Hopefully successfully pitching for the Dodgers in a large market will silence some of that noise. There will be other detractors who don't think National League pitchers can succeed in the American League. Greinke's dominance in 2015 should prove that he's more than just a player taking advantage of facing the pitcher every time through the lineup. These kind of players might be a scary investment for teams with pitchers being more fragile than many would like, but the free agent market isn't getting better for the foreseeable future and the Yankees are shedding plenty of payroll after next season. It makes a lot of sense to make a big splash this season while the talent is available.
Do you think the Yankees should pursue Greinke this offseason?