Dodgers begin push for SP Zack Greinke with their first formal meeting with free agent

Right-hander Zack Greinke, the best of the free-agent pitcher class, met with Los Angeles Dodgers officials in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The Dodgers view Greinke, who pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels last season, as critical to a pitching staff already headed by left-hander Clayton Kershaw.

Greinke, 29, was 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 2012. Over the past two seasons, he was 31-11 with a 3.63 ERA. He is consistently among his league's leaders in strikeouts-to-walk ratio.

[Related: Nats' trade for Denard Span puts Bryce Harper on move in OF]

The Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and Angels also have been tied to Greinke, who is believed to have enjoyed his two months in the L.A. area. It is unknown if Greinke has met with those clubs or any others in recent weeks.

The Dodgers acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from Boston last summer and continue to seek upgrades in their bullpen and rotation. Greinke won't come cheap; some have speculated he could draw a contract near the largest ever given to a starting pitcher, that being CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal with the New York Yankees.

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