The only thing missing was the official word: no one expected Zack Greinke to actually pitch through his entire Dodgers contract even when it was first signed, never mind after he rattled off three of the best years of his 12-year career. We now have that official word, though, as Greinke has been listed among the now 151 available free agents after opting out of his six-year, $147 million deal.
Greinke, who we ranked as the top free agent available in anticipation of this decision, is leaving three guaranteed years and $71 million behind by opting out. However, even in a free agent market with Johnny Cueto, Jordan Zimmermann, and David Price, he might be the most attractive ace available. He's going to get paid, possibly with an even larger deal than the one he signed with Los Angeles three seasons ago.
It might even be with the Dodgers, who certainly have the money to bring back the ace they already know can thrive in Los Angeles. Of course, they might be more attracted to Price's youth -- he's two years younger than Greinke -- so nothing is guaranteed on that front, either.
What we do know is that this free agent market is loaded with top-end arms, and there is the potential for some major shifts in power this winter depending on who ends up with which pitchers. Greinke is now part of that potential shift.
* * *
SB Nation presents: All that's happened with the Dodgers during Vin Scully's tenure