At least it wasn't the Dodgers. You can tell yourself that as you go to sleep, wondering which pitcher the Giants are going to overpay now. At least it wasn't the Dodgers. The Diamondbacks signed Zack Greinke for a reported six years and $195 million, and the Dodgers got worse.
Of course, the Diamondbacks got much better. And the Giants haven't improved at all. At least it wasn't the Dodgers, he muttered, as he wandered off into the woods.
The Dodgers were apparently never comfortable with six years for a 31-year-old, and apparently the Giants weren't either. The Diamondbacks, with their fancy $1.5 billion TV deal and stolen water and rogue sheriffs and what have you, came right in and swiped Greinke away from both of them. They're taking a huge financial risk, and here's some perspective just how huge: They're taking a risk that even the Dodgers wouldn't take. This could ruin them in future offseasons. Just ignore the part where they're much better next year.
The cons of this deal are obvious: The Giants don't get Greinke, and he still goes to a division rival. The Giants are going to tinker around with Mike Leake or Jeff Samardzija or, gulp, Johnny Cueto. There's still a path to a good offseason. If the Giants can get Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, and Alex Gordon for about the same Price as one Greinke, well, slap me on the bottom and call me Bert. But we're basically rooting for the same thing as "If the next four guys get a hit, the Giants can walk off." The teams desperate for pitching are going to start chewing each other's faces like rats.
Before you get too despondent, though, think of the pros. This means the Dodgers aren't an unlimited fountain of money. Remember how they ate all sorts of money just to get Adrian Gonzalez? Remember how they took back Bronson Arroyo's busted arm and big contract just to swing a deadline deal? It's a little hyperbolic to suggest that it's all caught up with them and they're ruined, but they just let one of their best pitchers go to a division rival because they didn't want to pay him as much.
Also, remember that in three years, the Diamondbacks are going to still owe Greinke $120 million, and he might be Jake Peavy, give or take. Acceptable, but a drag on their budget. This is kind of their big shot, and they can't afford to miss. This is ludicrous money for nonsensical years, and there's going to be a point where the Giants are glad they aren't dealing with it. Unfortunately, that point isn't going to be next year, when they'll really, really, really, really want Greinke.
The Giants were in on David Price. They were in hard on Zack Greinke. They have an enviable payroll situation. But they're sifting through the second tier. Hey, the second tier was a viable strategy from the start, especially if it includes a notable left fielder. It just stings that the Giants were forced into that strategy. There are still reasons to be optimistic with the rest of the offseason. We just got downgraded to "cautiously optimistic," though.
At least it wasn't the Dodgers.