It appears that MLB owners are running out of ace starting pitchers that would have been available at baseball's winter meetings. Some believed they would have players like David Price and Jordan Zimmerman to try and sign. Now you can get rid of another ace on that list. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed Zack Greinke to a six-year $206 million contract with deferrals, which means it will be lower than present day value of contract. He will also make $34.42 million per year, which is highest ever for any player right now. It was just announced a few hours ago that the D-Backs were pursuing Greinke and out of nowhere, it was announced the D-Backs had signed him. Like normal, nothing will be official until a physical is done.
Greinke signs three days after Price agreed to a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox. Earlier in the week, the Detroit Tigers made official their five-year, $110 million contract with Zimmermann. Nobody expected Greinke to sign with the D-Backs, because earlier in the week it was said he would either sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants. Also, Greinke will face a tax rate of 4.54 percent in Arizona, rather than 13.3 percent in California according to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area.
Greinke, who turned 32 this year, was 19-3 with the Dodgers in 2015, leading the major leagues with a 1.66 ERA and 0.844 WHIP. He also finished second in National League Cy Young Award voting. Greinke averaged 17 wins, 201 innings, 185 strikeouts and a 2.30 ERA in his three years with the Dodgers.
Greinke opted out of his contract at the end of the season to become a free agent, three seasons into his six-year, $147 million contract he signed with the Dodgers in December 2012. Due to Greinke declining a qualifying offer of one year, $15.8 million, the Diamondbacks will forfeit their first-round pick in the 2016 draft. The Dodgers, as compensation for losing Greinke, will receive a draft pick between the first and second rounds.
The Dodgers, who expected Greinke to re-sign, now will move their attention to Johnny Cueto or building up their bullpen, which is their plan b according to Jon Heyman. The Dodgers also reached out to the agents of Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija. Even though the Dodgers couldn't get Greinke, if they can sign Cueto, Kazmir, or Samardzija that would be a pretty good consolation prize.