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Zack Greinke opts out of Dodgers contract, hits free agency

Dodgers’ Zack Greinke wins second consecutive Gold Glove

The Dodgers’ Zack Greinke won his second consecutive Gold Glove. He is also a finalist for the National League Cy Young Award.

(Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Zack Greinke has opted out of his contract with the Dodgers and filed for free agency. 

The players’ union included Greinke on its list of 12 players who became free agents on Wednesday, bringing the total number of free agents to 151.

Greinke’s decision was expected -- and, in fact, he foreshadowed it at the 2014 All-Star Game, when he said he wanted to see how Max Scherzer and Jon Lester fared in free agency.

Scherzer got $210 million from the Washington Nationals, Lester $155 million from the Chicago Cubs. Greinke is walking away from three years and $71 million with the Dodgers, with the strong likelihood he could double or triple that money in a new deal.

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Greinke, who might well win the National League Cy Young award, is 32. The Dodgers could re-sign him but are not expected to be interested in a contract that would extend into his late 30s. After the Dodgers were eliminated in the playoffs, controlling owner Mark Walter said President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman and General Manager Farhan Zaidi were well aware of what the team’s financial parameters would be in any Greinke deal.

“They know what they should do and shouldn’t do,” Walter said. “I have faith in those guys.”

The Dodgers’ 2016 rotation, counting pitchers under club control and healthy, now includes only Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood. The team hopes Hyun-jin Ryu (shoulder surgery) might be ready at the start of the season and Brandon McCarthy (elbow surgery) might be ready in the second half of the season.

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