Speaking to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Greinke admitted that the sole reason he signed with the Dodgers was money. He explained his reasoning:
It's obviously the No. 1 thing. I could play for the worst team if they paid the most. ... If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200-million no matter what team it was.
It's hard to argue with Greinke, who went 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and threw 200 strikeouts for the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels last season and ended up signing a six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers in December.
After all, money talks.
But the fact that he was so forthright in admitting why he signed with the Dodgers is a bit unsettling.
First, though it's slowly starting to become untrue, fans watch baseball with the belief that the players are on the field and playing for the sole love of the game, with money being an added bonus. In one fell swoop, Greinke has essentially killed that ideal.
More importantly, think of how this could affect the rest of Greinke's career. He's 29 years old right now, meaning that barring a major injury, he'll be 35 when he next hits the open market.
Seeing as how he basically just said he has no loyalty, what team is going to be willing to bring him aboard long term if he's just going to ditch them for more money once the deal is up anyway?
Granted, this could also mean that teams will just get into bidding wars over Greinke in the future. Nevertheless, it still attaches a bit of a stigma to him, especially since he basically said the opposite to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com at his introductory press conference:
There's a couple things I was really looking at with teams besides the money, I guess, The No. 1 [factor] was to have a team that could have a chance to win a World Series for several years. ... My main goal was a team that was competing each year to get a World Series [title]. Also, I looked at the organizations some, the cities -- which ones we'd be most comfortable in and which ones we'd enjoy the most. Then also what my parents kind of liked and stuff like that.
[The Angels] kept in contact the whole time, from when I first got there to right when the season was over and right when the World Series was over. When the details came, they never really got into it too much. But my wife and I loved it there. Great place.
Now that the truth is out, that the city of Los Angeles was not really a factor in his signing with the Dodgers, Greinke has a lot of work to do in trying to win the fans over. He needs to have a great season and prove that he is indeed committed to the team and not just punching a clock for a paycheck.
Unless he's in Cy Young form or something close to it throughout the season, he's going to have a hard time staying on the fans' and organization's good side. After all, he may not care about representing a losing team, but the fans will.
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