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Zack Greinke, highest paid pitcher in baseball history?

Dec 5, 2012, 3:40 PM EDT

greinke angels getty Getty Images

As the Dodgers and Rangers reportedly battle over Zack Greinke the latest from CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman is that there’s a “strong belief by people close to situation” that Greinke “can beat” the $161 million CC Sabathia got from the Yankees.

In other words, Greinke could be the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.

Here are the current biggest contracts of all time for pitchers:

CC Sabathia – $161 million
Cole Hamels – $144 million
Johan Santana – $137.5 million
Matt Cain – $127.5 million
Barry Zito – $126 million

It always seemed all but certain that Greinke would get into the $125 million-plus club and for the past month or so most of the speculation has started in the six-year, $150 million range, so topping $161 million doesn’t seem so crazy in that context.

And, realistically, with revenue skyrocketing and player salaries rising every offseason each new ace starting pitcher to hit the open market at a relatively young age–Greinke just turned 29 years old–has a pretty good chance to become the highest-paid pitcher of all time.

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