Giants

Giants

Editor's note: The above video is from Oct. 5, 2015.

On Wednesday morning, Zack Greinke officially opted out of his contract with the Dodgers and became a free agent.

On Wednesday night, the Giants elected to decline their club options on Nori Aoki and Marlon Byrd.

Why did management go that route? Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper offered his thoughts on KNBR 680-AM Thursday morning.

"This is just a guess -- if you're gonna make a run at Greinke, then you want to have a pile of cash ready and available to use," Kuiper explained. "Although five million plus for Aoki doesn't sound like a whole lot for a guy that would start ... I think you put that money in a pile and you go, 'OK, now we're gonna go after some high-priced free agents,' get one, get two.

"If you get one, you still have some in that pile and now you can go back to Aoki and say, 'Look, we want you back. We needed to kick the tires on a lot of different things, but now when it's all said and done, we want you back' ... I was a little bit surprised that Aoki's contract hadn't been picked up ... maybe they are stockpiling some cash."

In December 2012, Greinke signed a 6-year, $147 million free agent contract with Los Angeles.

 

The deal included an opt-out clause following the 2015 campaign, and Greinke used it.

He was scheduled to make $24 million in 2016, $23 million in '17 and $24 million in '18.

"That would be quite a coup if you could not only get him (Greinke), but of course take him away from your rival," Kuiper said. "Can they do it? I don't know. How high is that number gonna go? It's gonna go really high."

Greinke turned 32 years old on Oct. 21. He just completed the best season of his career -- 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA.

Last winter, Jon Lester (who will turn 32 years old on Jan. 7) signed a 6-year, $155 million (25.8 annually) deal with the Cubs. He went 11-12 with a 3.34 ERA in his first year in Chicago.

Last winter, Max Scherzer (who will turn 32 years old next July), signed a 7-year, $210 million (30 annually) deal with the Nationals. He went 14-12 with a 2.79 in his first year in Washington.

Justin Verlander, who will turn 33 years old in February, will make $28 million annually over the next four seasons. He went 5-8 with a 3.38 over 20 starts last season.

Despite Greinke's age, "I do think that they (the Giants) value physically how well he might stand up to a long-term deal," Kuiper said. "And if they feel he can hang in there for a five-year deal at big, big dollars, I don't think at this point the organization is afraid to do it.

"Maybe the Giants feel like he is like Greg Maddux, where even though his velocity is gonna decline, he's got such great control, and he's got so many pitches that he can throw, even though the velocity is going to go down, the wins and losses may very well stay the same."