Dodgers land Greinke

My how quickly things change during hot stove season. The last time I did a once over of the latest Zack Greinke rumors, the conventional wisdom was that the Rangers were the heavy favorites to land his services, so much so that the bottom less money pit in Los Angeles Dodgers were thinking of bowing out of the sweepstakes altogether and focus on Anibal Sanchez or something. Instead, it was announced tonight that Greinke has agreed to sign a six year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers. The top line number here is a bit lower than what had been floating about, but the $24.5 million AAV is the highest in baseball history for a pitcher on a multi-year contract, surpassing the previous record of $24.4 million owned by C.C. Sabathia.

More importantly, however, Greinke’s decision should get the dominoes falling in place around the rest of the league pretty quickly. Texas, for one, figures to reverse course from trying to sign Greinke/trade for Justin Upton to re-signing Josh Hamilton and trading for an additional pitcher, perhaps James Shields or R.A. Dickey. If you’re looking for how the Yankees fit into all of this, well, it means that you can pretty much forget any thoughts, no matter how feint, of them signing Hamilton this winter. But if nothing else, the next week or two should be more exciting than the last one. There were a lot of talks and rumors and ground work laid at the Winter Meetings, but few concrete moves, at least with notable players involved. You got the feeling that everyone’s decision making was being held up by which big game hunting team Greinke was going to decide to suit up for, and now that that’s out of the way I would expect to see some of that groundwork turn into actual, concrete, developments.

9 thoughts on “Dodgers land Greinke

  1. uyf1950

    This is going to be fun this year. When the non Yankee fans start complaining about the Yankees big payroll and how they try and buy championships. I can hardly wait. The Dodgers payroll promises to be at least $225MM by the time they fill out their roster then add another $10MM MLB charges teams for benefits.

    • LarryAtIIATMS

      Funny you should bring this up. Cot's Baseball Contracts (now under the Baseball Prospectus umbrella) shows the Dodgers' 2013 payroll commitment (so far) at $206 million for 19 players (one of whom, Yasiel Puig, is probably not playing in the majors in 2013). That does not include the approximately $11.5 million the Dodgers owe in 2013 to Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones, or the approximately $6 million the Dodgers owe in 2013 to Ryu Hyun-Jin. That puts the Dodgers' 2013 payroll (so far) at $223 million, which would be the highest payroll in baseball history. And as you point out, the team still has to fill its roster and account for benefits.

  2. uyf1950

    I just read where Greinke as part of the deal has a player opt-out clause after 3 years. The news just keeps getting better and better for Greinke. I know the Dodgers are supposed to have more money than God but these signing by them are beginning to look like a team in desperation. In my opinion Greinke is well overpaid and add to that the guys they took of the hands of the Red Sox last season without having the Red Sox pick up really any of their salaries. This is getting goofy.

    • skeaney

      I like when they get 3 year opt outs. It basically takes a 7 year contract and shortens it to 3 years with you not paying for the decline years.

      • uyf1950

        Actually it probably works the other way around. It's a player option. If the player is under performing he's not going to opt out. It's only if he's exceeding the value of his contract that he will opt-out. In the case of Greinke I doubt very seriously he's going to exceed the value of his contract in the 1st 3 years OR that after 3 years any team would be willing to pay him in the area of what this contract calls for on a per year average ($24.5MM). Contrary to what the Dodgers offer may lead people to believe he's not the next coming of: CC, Verlander, Hamels or King Felix etc… I think the Dodgers are stuck with Greinke for the full 6 years unless the infamous LA smog gets to him.

        • You mean like Soriano opting out to get a bigger, newer, longer term contract? Oh wait…

          • uyf1950

            My friend you can't honestly believe that Soriano and the 1 year / $14MM remaining on that contract is a comparable example to Greinke's opt out clause and what would be about $75MM for the remaining 3 years of his contract. Besides I have very little doubt that Soriano could get a new contract if Boras wasn't such an ass talking about how he wanted 4 years and $50MM if my memory's correct.

  3. bpdelia

    I find it fairly appalling that greinke. got that large an wav and the opt out. he simply isn't in the top tier (lee, hamels , sabathia, felix, verlander etc ) none of those guys have even the slightest questions. peripherals match results every year for years. is grienke his peripherals? Is he 200 9? I don't know, no one does. and its a bit of an insult to that group, even to Cain, shields etc to pay brownie as the undisputed best pitcher. my God what does Felix get!

  4. jay robertson

    Good for Zac. The only downside I see is that King Felix can now go for several kazillion dollars when his time comes.

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