Back in LA, Greinke reflects fondly on Dodgers tenure

Back in LA, Greinke reflects fondly on Dodgers tenure

LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke returned to Dodger Stadium on Tuesday for the first time since signing a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the D-backs during the offseason, and he had nothing but positive things to say about his former teammates and the city as a whole.

"It feels nice," Greinke said of being back. "Very comfortable with this city. I have a house here. It seemed like normal. It feels like a good baseball place."

The Dodgers attempted to re-sign Greinke during the winter, and it appeared to be a two-team race between them and the Giants. However, in the span of around five hours, the D-backs put together a package that gave Greinke the highest annual average salary in baseball history.

Greinke was asked if he was surprised the Dodgers didn't pay whatever it would have taken to sign him.

"You've got to make the decision that's best for the team," Greinke said. "That's what their job is to do. People say they have unlimited resources. If they're going to spend $2 billion a year, they'd have unlimited resources. There's still a limit, and a team has to do what's smart for the team."

Greinke patiently answered questions for 11 minutes in the D-backs' dugout. Well, there was one he was not about to touch: Did the Dodgers attempt to sign him to an extension during the 2015 regular season?

"Ask them," Greinke said of the Dodgers. "I don't know if that's a more detailed question than what you guys have been asking, but it seems like a question I don't want to answer."

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did not try and lobby him to stay, Greinke said, and the righty's departure was not because of any concerns about the atmosphere in the Dodgers' clubhouse or outfielder Yasiel Puig in particular.

"Honestly, that had zero to do with anything," Greinke said. "The clubhouse over there is fantastic. Especially last season, it was a really good place. There are a lot of great guys over there. I would say it would be much more of a positive -- the way the clubhouse is -- than a negative."

Greinke's first two starts for the D-backs have not gone as either he or the team had hoped.

Greinke's eight strikeouts

Greinke allowed seven runs in just four innings on Opening Day, and then on Saturday against the Cubs, he gave up four runs in six innings, with three of the runs coming in the first inning.

"He's not been the Zack Greinke that we saw the last couple of years, that I've seen," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "I think that's just a matter of getting his feet on the ground. After the first inning against the Cubs, he threw beautifully, and that's the guy we're used to seeing, and I think that's who we're going to see the rest of the season."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.