Ace Zack Greinke hits free agency

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Zack Greinke is officially a free agent.

The ace right-hander has opted out of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and filed for free agency.

Greinke was among 12 additional players who became free agents, the Major League Baseball Players Association said Wednesday, raising the total to 151. He had the right to terminate the contract within three days of the end of the 2015 World Series.

The move is not a surprise.

Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million of a contract he signed with the Dodgers in the winter of 2012, but he likely will earn significantly more than that this offseason.

The 32-year-old is among the Cy Young favorites in the NL after leading the major leagues in ERA (1.66) and WHIP (0.84) while teaming with Clayton Kershaw to give the Dodgers one of the best one-two pitching punches in baseball history. Despite those two starting four of the five games against the New York Mets, however, the Dodgers lost the National League Division Series in five games, with Greinke taking the loss in Game 5.

A Florida native, Greinke won the 2009 American League Cy Young Award with the Kansas City Royals before a December 2010 trade to the Milwaukee Brewers. A candid, somewhat reclusive personality, Greinke missed most of the 2006 season with what the Royals later described as social anxiety disorder.

Last season, Greinke began drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Greg Maddux because of his brilliant command, excellent changeup and his Gold Glove-level fielding ability. He also is one of the best pitchers in baseball at hitting, batting .224 with two doubles and two home runs last season.

Greinke's 1.66 ERA is second best in Dodgers history, with only Rube Marquard's 1.58 in 1916 better.

Dodgers reliever J.P. Howellwill be staying with the team.Sources told ESPN's Buster Olney on Wednesday night that Howell will exercise his 2016 player option for $6.25 million.

Information from ESPN's Mark Saxon and The Associated Press was used in this report.