With Andrew Friedman taking over as president of baseball operations and a more sabermetric-based front office in place, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been among the most aggressive teams in MLB this offseason. Aggressive, however, does not necessarily mean effective. There have been plenty of voices out there questioning just how necessary a significant retooling was, and it would appear that current pitcher Zack Greinke is among those voices.
When asked specifically about the offseason manuevering at Dodgers’ Fan Fest on Saturday, Greinke sounded unimpressed at best and underwhelmed to say the least.
“In the playoffs last year, I thought our team was the best team in baseball,” Greinke said on Saturday. “Obviously, we didn’t prove it. But I thought we were the best team in baseball. So, to say we’re better than that, I don’t know if you could say that.”
What we can say for sure is the Dodgers offseason has been a little crazy and a lot interesting. Gone are such names as Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon, Dan Haren, Brian Wilson, as well as Josh Beckett, who announced his retirement in November. Among those coming on board are Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick, Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson. So we’re not talking about moves to address the periphery of the roster. There are multiple All-Stars involved, all of which are at different points in their careers, and all of which will have to blend in with their new teams.
Count the latter among Greinke’s biggest concerns.
“When you change a team a lot, sometimes it takes a year, or a couple of months, to jell. It doesn’t matter if you bring in the greatest guys in the world. It takes a little time to get used to them.”
Granted, some of this could be Greinke being Greinke. He’s a difficult guy to please sometimes and an even tougher guy to read pretty much all of the time. But he did at least back it up with interesting points concerning team chemistry, which has been a talking point for Friedman.
“I don’t think we got rid of anyone that was an issue in our clubhouse,” Greinke said. “I wouldn’t say everyone got along with everyone that is gone, but I would say there was definitely more positives than negatives with everyone that we got rid of.
“If you bring in a super clubhouse guy, that’s a positive. I don’t know the guys we brought in enough to know that we brought in some amazing person.”
Maybe he just doesn’t like meeting new people.
In another notable excerpt, Greinke, who turned 31 in October, says he’s not yet sure whether he’ll opt out of his contract after the season and become a free agent. If he does opt out, he’ll forgo the final three years and $71 million on his current deal. It seems like he’d have to be really good this season or awfully unhappy afterward to consider such a decision. One or both are enitrely possible, but the beauty of Greinke is that he’ll likely keep us guessing the entire time.
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