Over the years I have criticized Ned Colletti with the best of them. I don’t regret it. The truth is that I think the criticism was warranted. There isn’t any need to go back and rehash the bad signings and the deals that didn’t work out. There were a lot of them, but this time, he is to be applauded.
Colletti kept his trade secrets exactly what they were: secrets. He didn’t play his hand. He held steady and waited. The offer to Zach Greinke was out there and it was a good one. He didn’t bid against himself. His offer stood and eventually it was accepted, as it should have been.
When Casey Close, (Greinke’s agent) started planting rumors that the Dodgers would need to pay his client $180 million to match what Texas would pay if they signed him for $150 million (because of California taxes). Ned didn’t flinch. I have no idea what he told them, but I have a pretty good idea it was, “Go ahead then. Sign him with Texas, because we have other options we can go after.”
When rumors surfaced that Greinke’s chat with Nolan Ryan made him enthusiastic about pitching there and winning a World Series in Texas. Again, it was posturing on the players side, and the Dodgers didn’t flinch again. Why would they? We are after all the Los Angeles Dodgers. We are a storied franchise. We have an ownership group that is committed to winning. We have a core of players that is amongst the best in the league. We have the best left handed starter in the game and a center fielder that may be one the best if not in the top five position players in baseball.
We didn’t need Greinke. He needed us. We knew there were other starters we could go after and if he didn’t like what he saw, then he was invited to go elsewhere. The Dodgers offered him a fantastic deal, and he was wise to take it.
What this means
The Dodgers starting pitching staff is loaded. Now in the number 1 and 2 slots, they are on par with the Phillies with Halladay and Lee, and Giants with Cain and Volgelsong. Put our starting five and bullpen up against anyone, and I dare say that the Dodgers may have the best staff in the league from top to bottom. Josh Beckett and Chad Billingsley are 3 and 4 pitchers and Capuano or Harang is a number five. AND, the Dodgers just may be signing Hyun-Jin Ryu tomorrow. There are pitchers to be traded, meaning they can potentially upgrade with Skip Schumacher, or possibly at third base with other options. The implications created by these moves are countless, but what should not be overlooked are the intangibles that Greinke brings to Los Angeles.
|Greinke's cerebral approach will be welcomed (AP Photo)|
Zach Greinke is a student of the game. He’s a baseball junkie and his knowledge of organizations from top to bottom is extraordinary. The Dodgers have not only added a solid number two starter to their staff for several years, but they have a cerebral player that will serve as a pitching coach as well. This is the type of player that one day will be a coach, a field manager or maybe even a general manager.
It's time to get excited about 2013. This Dodger roster is stacked and there is still more to come.
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