Last spring, Los Angeles Dodgers president Stan Kasten said pitcher Zack Greinke, “has this endearing, contrarian quality to him that we all know and love.” Greinke’s loveable candor, if that’s the term for it, resurfaced again at Saturday’s FanFest, when he offered a far-from-fawning analysis of the team’s offseason moves. Under a new front office headed by Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers have churned up a roster that won 94 games, changing starters at shortstop, second basemen, right field and catcher and adding two new starting pitchers and a few relievers. “Well, I guess the best way I can answer that question is that, in the playoffs last year, I thought our team was the best team in baseball,” Greinke said. “To say we’re better than that, I don’t know if you could say that, especially without seeing us play.” Friedman’s primary rationales for letting Hanley Ramirez go, trading Matt Kemp, Dee Gordon and Dan Haren and bringing in Yamani Grandal, Jimmy Rollins, Brandon McCarthy and Howie Kendrick, among other moves, was to streamline future salary obligations, improve the fielding and try a different mix of personalities. The term he favors is “functionality,” which suggests a level of dysfunction last season, a premise Greinke also quarreled with. He suggested it could take “a couple months,” for the Dodgers’ new pieces to gel. “The first thing, I guess, is I don’t think we got rid of anyone who was an issue in our clubhouse,” Greinke said. “Anyone who says anything along those lines, I don’t agree with. I wouldn’t say everyone got along with everyone that is gone, but I would say there were definitely more positives than negatives with everyone we got rid of.” Greinke also refused to acknowledge that the defensive upgrades are significant. That seems surprising since Ramirez might have been the worst shortstop in baseball last year and Gordon didn’t rate particularly well in advanced defensive metrics either. Rollins and Kendrick were both well above-average defenders last year.
Greinke not convinced Dodgers have improved
ESPN Los Angeles | Feb 3