Just two days after Zack Greinke officially exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, the Los Angeles Dodgers offered him a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, according to Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles.
Once Greinke declines, which he has a 99.9 percent chance to do, the starter could re-sign with the Dodgers. Greinke, however, will negotiate with all clubs that want to talk money.
The Dodgers can not afford to lose the 2015 National League Cy Young contender, but they can afford everything else on the table. That means the possible loss of Greinke could be made up with the signings of a few other superstars.
Greinke went 19-3 with an MLB-leading 1.66 ERA over 32 starts and 222.2 innings pitched over the 2015 season. The 32-year-old added a 0.84 WHIP and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings to the already dominant season.
The Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, San Francisco Giants and the Dodgers are the early front-runners to sign the starting pitcher this winter. All four teams have money and crave starting pitching, which makes for a beautiful fit.
Two days ago, Greinke forfeited $71 million over three years to become a free agent and look for more money. If he accepts the qualifying offer, he will be under contract for $15.8 million next season. If he declines and signs somewhere else, the Dodgers would receive a compensation draft pick for the loss of their superstar pitcher.
Over the last three MLB seasons, Greinke has started 92 games with the Dodgers. The right-handed pitcher logged a 51-15 record with a 2.30 ERA over an astonishing 602.2 innings pitched. The top-notch pitcher accumulated two All-Star honors from 2013-2015.
The best fit for Greinke's future is the Dodgers, but at this point, whoever offers the most amount of money will lock up the starting pitcher, who is still in search of a World Series title.