Zack Greinke can become free agent halfway through his contract

December 10, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Zack Greinke is one of a handful of pitchers the Dodgers sought to add to their roster.
Zack Greinke is one of a handful of pitchers the Dodgers sought to add to their… (Paul Rodriguez / MCT )

Zack Greinke can become a free agent halfway through his six-year, $147-million contract with the Dodgers, according to people familiar with his deal who were unauthorized to talk about it.

Greinke passed a physical examination Monday to finalize the contract, which is the largest a right-handed pitcher has ever received.

The Dodgers wouldn’t grant Greinke a no-trade clause, following a precedent they set in negotiations with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. But if Greinke is traded at any time, there is a provision in his deal that would allow him to elect free agency at the end of that season.

The Dodgers offered the 29-year-old Greinke some additional flexibility by including an opt-out clause similar to the one the New York Yankees included in CC Sabathia’s record seven-year, $161-million deal in 2008. Sabathia exercised the opt-out and the Yankees re-signed him by adding a $30-million extension to his original contract.

Whatever happens, the Dodgers are assured to have Greinke in what should be the best of his remaining seasons –- at age 29, 30 and 31.

South Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-jin, who was introduced Monday at a news conference, also didn’t get a no-trade clause in his six-year, $36-million contract. But, like Greinke, he can also opt out of his deal early. Ryu can become a free agent after five seasons, at age 30, provided he has pitched 750 innings.


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