Zack Greinke officially opts out of his contract

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that Dodgers starter Zack Greinke has officially opted out of his contract.

This is not a surprise. The deal he’s foregoing would’ve paid him $71 million over the next three years or an average of $23 million and change a year. That’s a few million below what elite starters such as Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander and some other pitchers make and lower than 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 could make on the free market.

Not that he’ll be on the free market for long or, for that matter, that he has any intention of leaving Los Angeles. Like CC Sabathia did with the Yankees and his opt-out a couple of years ago, this is more likely a took for negotiation than a method of escape. By all accounts Greinke likes pitching in Los Angeles and, by any objective measure, the Dodgers would be screwed without him.

Figure that, by exercising the opt-out, Greinke will guarantee himself anywhere from $125-150 million, which is a nice little raise over what he’s making now.