Despite their reported desire to lower their astronomical payroll, the Dodgers can’t cut corners when it comes to their rotation. There already are big question marks (Brett Anderson, Alex Wood) and durability concerns (Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-Jin Ryu) behind Clayton Kershaw. Subtracting Greinke from the mix -- even if Los Angeles were to add a second-tier starter (and Jordan Zimmermann now is off the board) in his place -- would severely weaken the team.
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Make Greinke a priority: Red Sox
The failed experiment of amassing a collection of No. 2/3/4 starters should force the Red Sox to ante up for an ace, and fellow free-agent ace David Price might not be a match. New President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has acquired Price in the past, but he also realizes Greinke is hardly a step down. Despite Boston’s last-place finish in 2015, they played well late in the season and have a playoff-ready roster that needs a No. 1 starter. By adding Greinke, Boston arguably would become the AL East favorite.
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Make Greinke a priority: Giants
There are big questions behind Madison Bumgarner and we are going into an even-numbered year, so San Francisco needs to bolster what has been a major strength during its previous three World Series runs. And what better way to do that than by also weakening the three-time defending NL West champions in the process? A rotation led by MadBum and Greinke would mask a lot of the uncertainty (Matt Cain, Jake Peavy, Chris Heston) on the back end.
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Make Greinke a priority: Cardinals
The unexpected loss of Lance Lynn only added to the rotation concerns after fellow starter Carlos Martinez’s 2015 season came to an abrupt end because of a shoulder injury. Ace Adam Wainwright will be back as a starter after returning in a relief role late this past September, and Martinez is expected to be fully recovered by spring training. Michael Wacha is solid, and the team does have some young depth. But depending on Jaime Garcia to stay healthy for a full season is unwise, and the Cubs and Pirates already have closed the gap in the NL Central. Adding Greinke would provide a much-needed boost.
Make Greinke a priority: Cubs
Like the Red Sox, the Cubs have been linked primarily to David Price. But Greinke would make just as much sense. Chicago has done an outstanding job of developing position players, but it has been far less successful at developing starting pitchers. Thus, the need to sign Jon Lester last offseason, and the need to add another starter this season. The Greinke-Lester-Jake Arrieta trifecta would be a nightmare for the Cubs’ NL Central rivals, and it would make Chicago the unquestioned favorite to win the NL pennant and World Series.