Why the Giants should pass on Zack Greinke

Jim Bowden projects free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke to sign a six-year deal for $31 million per season. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Since 2016 is an even year and the San Francisco Giants have won the past three even-year World Series, it stands to reason they will be front and center in the mix for a postseason berth next season. That means they'll need to accumulate seven months' worth of pitching, rather than the customary six.

The Giants have been one of the clubs most closely connected to Zack Greinke in the free-agent rumor mill. Getting Greinke, who along with David Price represents the biggest prize on the pitching market, would come with the added benefit of keeping him out of the hands of his most recent club, the hated, division-rival Dodgers. Would this be a wise investment of resources for the club representing the closest thing to a modern-day baseball dynasty?

Well, we start with a simple quiz. Who were the only two Giants starters to pitch enough innings to qualify for the NL ERA title in 2015? One is easy, their ace lefty and 2014 World Series hero Madison Bumgarner. The other was ... unheralded rookie Chris Heston. Nothing against the rookie right-hander, but that fact, as much as anything, tells you why the Giants were not playing meaningful baseball this October.

The Giants rotation actually appeared well-fortified heading into the 2015 season, with Jake Peavy, Matt Cain, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong all backing Bumgarner and affording the club insurance should one member break down. Unfortunately for the Giants, all five guys (after Bumgarner) did break down at one time or another, physically or performance-wise. Now, with Hudson retired and Lincecum a free agent, the herd has been culled somewhat, and the Giants are clear players for free-agent pitchers.

What about Greinke? Well, all things considered, he seems like a good fit, and the club does have quite a bit of salary coming off the books. Dig a little deeper, however, and some potential concerns surface.