Saturday, December 8, 2012

All is right: Dodgers to sign RHP Zack Greinke to record-breaking contract

Of course the Dodgers would agree to terms with Zack Greinke while I was watching the latest iteration of the James Bond franchise (which kicked ass).

The 29-year-old right-hander agreed to a 6-year, $147 million contract on Saturday with the Dodgers. This isn't surprising as everyone expected this to happen. Hell, I predicted this in September, which really isn't going out on a limb.

His $24.5 million average annual value is the highest for any pitcher in baseball history, topping CC Sabathia's $24 million per season mark.

Jim Bowden said the contract breaks down this way:
  • $12 million signing bonus
  • 2013: $17M
  • 2014: $24M
  • 2015: $23M
  • 2016: $24M
  • 2017: $23M
  • 2018: $24M
Pretty standard. The Dodgers of old were known to spread out a signing bonus, but these obviously aren't the same ol' Dodgers. But it's still unknown whether he'll receive the full signing bonus now or if it'll be spread out. It doesn't really matter.

What's interesting is the last few days, everyone had the Rangers as the favorite to sign him. Everyone. It's unknown what changed, but it's likely money talked in this situation.

Greinke is also coming into a perfect situation. The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, who is the unquestioned ace (and likely baseball's first $200 million pitcher). The Dodgers needed a legitimate No. 2 starter, and that's what Greinke is. Sure, he'd be the ace of a lot of rotations, but this luxury is something not to be overlooked.

Greinke is easily a Top 15 pitcher in the game and probably closer to Top 10. He's underrated -- well, he was underrated until today. That designation goes out the window when you're likely making more money in one year than everyone who has ever read this blog -- combined.

This instantly makes the team better. If they didn't make another move this winter, I'd call it a successful offseason.We know that isn't going to happen, but it just shows the impact of this signing.

Also, this signing likely spells the end of the Kyle Lohse speculation, which was ridiculous to begin with. I don't care what some are saying, bringing in Lohse makes less than zero sense.

Also, from the department of something probably only I care about: I'm hoping Greinke dons No. 21 with the Blue. Adrian Gonzalez is No. 23, the number Greinke wore in Kansas City and Anaheim. Hanley Ramirez wears No. 13. He wore No. 2 in Florida, which is retired. He could switch to No. 3 and let Greinke have No. 13, but I think No. 21 looks much better, don't you?

Welcome to L.A., Zack. Here's hoping your stay is prosperous for the franchise. I firmly believe this is the first major step toward the Dodgers being a World Series contender for many, many years to come.

Photo credit: Jninja, Wikimedia Commons

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