Zack Greinke to exercise his opt-out clause

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Jon Heyman reports that Zack Greinke will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract. Kind of a no-brainer given the season he just had.

The deal would’ve paid him $71 million over the next three years or an average of $23 million a year. That’s a few million below what Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and some other pitchers make a year, but it’s likewise a low total guarantee for a guy who just put up a season in which he went 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA and will finish someplace in the top three of the Cy Young voting. By opting out, Greinke, who turns 32 next week, will guarantee himself anywhere from $125-150 million, one assumes.

Who will give it to him? Many will try, one assumes, as starting pitchers as elite, durable and consistent as Greinke don’t come along too often. Indeed, he has averaged 205 innings a year since returning to full-time starting duties in 2008, and that number would’ve been higher if not for that freak collar bone injury he got when Carlos Quentin charged the mound on him back in 2013.

One has to assume, however, that the Dodgers are the favorites. Greinke, according to Heyman, likes Los Angeles and enjoyed this season and the NL West parks are a pretty good place for any pitcher. Financially speaking, the Dodgers payroll, while high, will not be significantly higher on a per annum basis if they sign Greinke. They’re already committing $23 million a year to him, after all.

Oh, and their rotation is already thin as hell after him and Kershaw as it is, so they’re gonna want to keep him around, no?

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”