As many others are reporting, the Dodgers are expected to be strong players for free-agent starters this winter, and they're making a strong push for Jon Lester, according to Rob Bradford and Alex Speier of WEEI.com. According to major-league sources, a growing concern within the Dodgers' organization that Zach Greinke could opt out of his contract next winter may lead to the team making the right-hander available in trade talks in order to free up a rotation spot for a pitcher like Lester, James Shields or Max Scherzer.
It is currently unknown whether or not the Dodgers have discussed the possibility of trading Greinke with other clubs. Greinke, an All-Star in 2014, is slated to make $23 million next season in the third year of his six-year contract with Los Angeles but may opt out in search of a larger deal next winter, when he is 32 years old. The Dodgers currently have an excellent rotation in place with Greinke pitching alongside Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Dan Haren, but are always looking to upgrade despite having the largest payroll in baseball.
If the Dodgers were to trade Greinke, they would ensure that they would receive a great haul of prospects in return for him instead of allowing the possibility of him walking next offseason in search of a larger deal. Greinke does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, eliminating one potential obstacle in a deal.
If Greinke is made available, he will obviously draw a great deal of interest from around the league. Among the teams to watch are the Red Sox and Cubs, who have excellent farm systems and are known to be on the lookout for high-end pitching this winter.