The Giants’ top priority is Zack Greinke, as pretty much everyone knows by now. But if Greinke re-signs with the Dodgers or ends up joining another club (the D-Backs are reportedly in on Greinke now, if you can believe it), the Giants will probably look at adding a second-tier starter or two.
One possible match was John Lackey, who signed a two-year, $32 million deal with the Cubs today. According to a source close to the Giants, Lackey reached out to San Francisco and was looking for a deal costing $39 million over two years. The Giants weren’t interested in Lackey, at least not at that price. Plus, they’re still keeping their options open in case they can land Greinke.
Talks with Lackey didn’t progress much from there, and that’s probably fine with most Giants fans. Lackey, who always seems to be scowling for whatever reason, pitched five innings to win Game 7 of the 2002 World Series against San Francisco as a rookie. The Giants got revenge 12 years later — well, sort of — in Game 3 of the 2014 NLCS. Lackey didn’t take the loss, but he allowed four runs over six innings in a game the Giants won 5-4.
Lackey was also one of 16 players who rejected a qualifying offer, which meant signing him would’ve forced the Giants to surrender their first round pick in the 2016 amateur draft. Below is a full list of players who were extended a qualifying offer (one year, $15.8 million) and declined.
- LHP Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
- 1B Chris Davis, Orioles
- SS Ian Desmond, Nationals
- OF Dexter Fowler, Cubs
- RHP Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
- OF Alex Gordon, Royals
- RHP Zack Greinke, Dodgers
- OF Jason Heyward, Cardinals
- RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
- 2B Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
- RHP Ian Kennedy, Padres
- RHP John Lackey, Cardinals
- 2B Daniel Murphy, Mets
- RHP Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
- OF Justin Upton, Padres
- RHP Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
Greinke is on that list, but he’s in a completely different category than Lackey, a 37-year-old whose 2015 season was his best since 2007. The Giants and Dodgers are reportedly interested in Samardzija if they lose out on Greinke, according to ESPN’s Jayson Stark. An executive told Stark that Samardzija could end up getting $90 million or more.