BOCA RATON, Fla. -- General manager Farhan Zaidi said the Dodgers reached out to Zack Greinke during the season attempting to head off his opt-out with the possibility of a new contract, but it was clear the pitcher would test free agency.
Greinke exercised his opt-out and elected free agency after receiving $75 million over the past three years, forfeiting the remaining $71 million over the next three years.
"We definitely expressed our interest in having him return, [he's] been a big part of club for last three seasons," Zaidi said. "With the season he had, I think there was intent on their part to playing out the season and get to this part and make a decision on the player option.
"In these negotiations you have a sense for when things are going to advance and for when a player is intent on hitting free agency. I understand why and that was more their intent. Again, we expressed our interest in having him continue with the organization."
The Dodgers included the opt-out to get Greinke to sign the six-year deal, allowing Greinke the right to re-enter free agency midway through its duration, in the event he did something remarkable, which he has, going 19-1 with a 1.66 ERA in 2015.
Clayton Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215 million contract before the 2014 season that has an opt-out after the 2018 season.
The Dodgers have made a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer that Greinke is expected to decline, which will entitle the club to a compensatory Draft pick if he signs elsewhere. He can negotiate with any club, including the Dodgers, but club officials will not comment about free-agent negotiations.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.