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Dodgers reach six-year, $147 million deal with Zack Greinke

Dec 8, 2012, 8:24 PM EDT

greinke getty angels Getty Images

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers are “closing in on” a contract agreement with free agent starter Zack Greinke.

The deal will cover the next six years and carry a total value of $145 million if it indeed goes through.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported on Thursday that Dodgers officials were “starting to seem slightly discouraged” because of a strong push by Texas’ front office and Greinke’s positive reaction to their sales pitch. But Heyman is now acknowledging that the script has been flipped and that it’s the Rangers who suddenly have a bad feeling about the course of the negotiations.

Greinke registered a 3.48 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 200/54 K/BB ratio across 212 1/3 innings this past summer between the Brewers and Angels. The 29-year-old right-hander was at one point said to be seeking a seven-year contract worth more than $160 million, and it seems he’s going to come pretty close.


UPDATE, 8:26 PM: The Rangers “have been told” that Greinke is not signing with them, according to’s T.R. Sullivan. Which means that an announcement from the Dodgers is likely imminent.

UPDATE, 8:57 PM: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that Greinke and the Dodgers are in agreement, and that the contract is only pending a physical. It’ll wind up as a six-year, $147 million pact, which represents the highest annual average committed to a pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball.

151 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. ducksk - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    For 24 million he can afford the best zen coach consolers and weed to cope with the LA pressure. LA’s fine, but it ain’t home no more. Niel diamond

    • illadelphiasphinest - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:28 AM

      If this head case just got that kind of loot imagine what Cole Hamels would have fetched if he would have made it to free agency…. WOW!!!

      Hamels signed 6yrs/144MM
      Greinke singed 6yrs/147MM

      Hamels being lefthanded and statistically a better pitcher not only last season but also has better career numbers. Hamels woulda easily topped CC’ 161MM.

      Hamels-7yr career, 1WS MVP, 1NLCS MVP, 3xAS
      91-60, 603W%, 3.34ERA, 1.13WHIP, 212G, 12CG, 6SO, 1376.2IP, 1307K’s, 344BB, 126ERA+

      Greinke- 9yr career, 1Cy Young, 1xAS
      91-78, .538W%, 3.77ERA, 1.24WHIP, 272G, 12CG, SO, 1492IP, 1332K’s, 379BB, 114ERA+

      Go ahead make excuse cause Greinke was on the Royals. But besides homers making excuses for him it’s looking like the Phillies made a great signing by not letting Cole get to free agency. The Phillies got a better player who is a lefty for cheaper.

    • shwinkie - Dec 9, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      Kevin Brown anyone? Its great to have bad guys in sports, and Zach is truely a bad guy! Can’t wait for the season to start…lets watch Delmon Young, Brad Meyers, and Zach implode!

  2. texassportsfan2 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    Doubt they’ll be able to afford Kershaw long term now. Big mistake in my opinion.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Clearly costs are concern for this new Dodgers management …

  3. abaird2012 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    I knew the Dodgers were just playing possum with all that talk about “not being out of the car yet.”

  4. silverdeer - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    With guaranteed contracts, I just can’t see any owner giving a 6 year deal. Oh well, it is their money, not mine.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      It was their money before they gave it away.

  5. gbar22 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    To some of you posters ok we get it every time a player in any sport signs for big money idiots will come out and say wow what are they doing paying all that money to play a sport!! The world is insane!

    We understand you can’t seem to grasp the context of entertainers getting paid to entertain so we dont need to see or hear your silly comments about the contracts monetary number every single time. Please surprise us all and enlighten yourselves and read a book or perhaps bbc news and find out what the world is really like and then proceed to post something interesting when you have something real to add to the discussion.

    Grienke is a number 2 but that’s okay because they have a number 1 in Kershaw so this is brilliant for the dodgers slide in billingsly or Beckett at 3 and 4 if Beckett doesn’t workout you have Lilly harang or capuano which gives them nice depth and six starters all capable of winning 12 or more games so good for them from a baseball sense it’s a great deal. Anyone claiming the dodgers won’t have money for Kershaw please take a second and catch up with the actual state of the dodgers finances. They will be fine and can keep them all much as the Yankees or Red Sox have always been able to keep whoever they want if they choose.

    Again for the people posting about baseball needing a salary cap have you checked out the luxury tax baseball has coming in 2014? It is in essence a salary cap unless you’re like the dodgers and do not care about paying an additional 50-70 million in luxury tax which is good or clubs like the royals and pirates and Miami. That tax system is why the Yankees and red sox are cutting back and 189million is the cap number essentially. So there ya go it’s capped in a sense. Please take the time to clue yourself in on the realities of the sport you claim to be a fan of if you are going to bore us all with your lazy comments.

    • sidelineshot - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:44 PM


    • recoveringcubsfan - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:24 AM

      The problem with your analysis (aside from the tone, which is pompous) is that the Dodgers got all that cash from a TV contract that soaks all cable subscribers, especially those who don’t care about the Dodgers but nonetheless pay for their dumb TV deal as part of their bundled cable bill. So, this market is rigged for the major sports teams and their sweethearts in the cable industry, and the Dodgers are spending other people’s money right now, like crooks. Which is what they are, as a result of their crooked cable deal. This ain’t about entertainers getting paid; this is about crooks hogging assets.

  6. jaybird22seven - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    This is a big contract for a number two guy. But talk all you want, only time will tell. He will have a lot of pressure to play up to that contract. Reminds me of a pitcher by the name of A.J. Burnett.

    • abaird2012 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

      But A. J.’s good again …

  7. shynessismyelguapo - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:39 PM

    I wonder if the high price tag is really an massive overpay and more a reflection of the reality of the new free agent market brought on by massive revenue from new TV deals. It seems with the additional $150 million a year in TV revenue, $25 million for Greinke doesn’t sound like that big of a deal anymore.

  8. barroomhero80 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    It ain’t your money. Get over it.

  9. bowens3181 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:55 PM

    This has to be one of the silliest contracts I’ve seen in a while. True that Pujols’ deal will look awful at the end, but at least they can argue they were paying for past performances. Greinke has only been worth the average yearly salary in this deal one season in his entire career.

  10. gbar22 - Dec 8, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    @churchofperpetualoutrage for some reason that boggles my mind people seem to have zero issue with owners getting more money when it comes to professional sports you see it now with the NHL lockout and the fan comments at PHT. Sports is entertainment the product that these owners sell are the players which in turn makes 8 billion dollars a year for the league and the owners yet they still need tax dollars for stadiums which also boggles my mind but that’s an arguement for another time. The money is all relative to the financial health of the sport when it does well the player does well just like when movies do well the actor who starred in them does well. It’s all relative. Why fans have an issue with is something I’ll never understand…

  11. gbar22 - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    San Francisco Giants had a payroll of 118 million last season I think this year it’s 125-140 million which even at last years number was in the top ten of baseball. Don’t know where you native dodgers fans are getting your facts from. Nothing to admire there. They have as much home grown talent as the dodgers do.

  12. gbar22 - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    Would like to add what’s truly remarkable is what the twins did for all those years with a limited payroll or what the marlins did in 2003 or even what the nationals or phillies and rangers did in recent years before they started spending big. But to be fair just spending wildly doesn’t buy you a championship ask the Yankees about that this past decade. They didnt win until they signed Burnett! <– yes that Burnett jab was directed at a pervious poster in comparing Burnett to Grienke.

  13. delusionalcardsfan - Dec 8, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    And they’ll miss the playoffs. GO DBACKS!

  14. gbar22 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Yes the tone was meant to be pompous because I come from a place of facts and figures and not raw emotion so I can be pompous. I could agree with your argument about the fees being passed on to subscribers and whatnot however one issue with that analysis is that it’s not a pure sports issue with the television companies. Networks are now routinely pulling programming in negotiating television fees with the cable companies to increase their profits which only gets sent down to the people who pay for whatever package they choose and even the packages they don’t want. On top of that if a cable company fights to keep fees low the network then pushes viewers to switch cable or satellite companies. The issue you raise is an industry issue and one that unfortunately is here to stay as long as US law requires publicly traded companies to constantly be looking to increase profits on behalf of the stock holder. Is sports partly to blame
    sure but they also generate a tremendous amount of business i.e. eyeballs and advertising and money for the networks and the cable/satellite companies that provide those networks. Again it’s all relative and sure you might be able to plead the ‘what about the common man case’ which people will side with but it doesn’t make it right. Don’t all businesses spend other peoples money?

    • purnellmeagrejr - Dec 9, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      pomposity is not something you earn or strive for. I couldn’t make my way through through the spew of words you post. It’s only sports, aftre all. Great athletes possses what you could consider a phsyical genius (except Rick Reuschel.) THey are compensated for exercising that genius.In my opinion a guy like Usain Bolt desrves to make more money than the guy who shufffles paper on Walll Street.

  15. doctorfootball - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    If it wasn’t for A-Rod’s ridiculous contract, the Dodgers would be the kings of overpaying. They paid #1 money to a #2 pitcher with anxiety problems.

    • thereisaparty - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:31 AM

      Since your doctorate is in footballl and not psychology, I suggest you refrain from making baseless assumptions about an individual’s personal battles with depression. Based on population percentages, you can reasonably expect a player on your favorite team to have mental health issues.

  16. gbar22 - Dec 9, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Yes a Pitcher who had anxiety issues when he was 24 years old and overcame them to win a cy young then went to Milwaukee and helped get them to the post season while going undefeated at home then was traded to the Angels in a big market where many writers liked to claim he couldnt pitch because of said anxiety issues but after a rough start quickly adjusted and pitched really well down the stretch and finished with 15 wins last season. Not to mention since 2008 has gone 70-43 not bad for a number 2! I think the dodgers will be okay…

    • cktai - Dec 9, 2012 at 3:46 AM

      You come from a world of facts and figures, and yet you choose “pitcher wins” to proof your point?

      You could have based your argument on fWAR, FIP, xFIP, K/9, etc all of which are very favourable toward Greinke, and yet you choose pitcher wins.

      • seeingwhatsticks - Dec 9, 2012 at 5:27 AM

        But his ERA+ says he has basically been a slightly above average pitcher since his monster Cy Young season. He’s basically getting $20 million more than Cain despite the fact that over the last 3 seasons Cain has been 124, 121, 125 while Greinke has been 100, 103, 114. For his career Greinke is 114, which is very good, but Cain signed a similar extension last year and is a career 124.

        Greinke is a good pitcher but if they’re expecting the guy who had an ERA+ over 200 when he won the Cy Young they’re likely to be disappointed. It really all comes down to whether they start winning consistently or not because it’s great to spend like this if you’re seeing the results, but if the results aren’t there it’s hard not to think about the fact that you could probably field a team just as good and have an additional $30-$40 million a year in your pocket.

  17. gbar22 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Really people who keep bringing up and using his anxiety issues from 5-6 years ago as a crux to their argument are probably the same misinformed fans who run around claiming Hamilton can’t play in New York because of his past issues. Their are bars and drugs everywhere in the country he could get it anywhere and people who claim well new York has more of that vice well whether there is one bar or 16 bars you still have the same exact access to it. It’s a dumb argument only being used because people can think of nothing truly insightful to say.

  18. gbar22 - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    For the typo police **there**

  19. fuddpucker - Dec 9, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    I love it. All along Zack and other people were saying he didn’t want to be in a high visablity, high media centered MLB city and ALL ALONG I knew it was a bunch of BS.

    ALL the players that stand out end up in one of the top salaried teams. ALL OF THEM!

    A special thanks to Zack Greinke for proving me right.
    Zack Greinke: FOUR teams in two years.
    Way to go Zack!!!

  20. jwag777 - Dec 9, 2012 at 2:52 AM

    The Dodgers are completely nuts….

  21. go49ers - Dec 9, 2012 at 4:05 AM

    Dodgers: Who do we need?
    Management: I don’t know.
    Dodgers: Who can we bring from the Minors?
    Management: I don’t know
    Dodgers: Who’s good from last season?
    Management: Looking at the top 5 per position and free agents base on stats. Here’s what I have.
    Dodgers: Let’s sign them because they’re free agents and they were good last year.
    Management: Done.

    Welcome to the Dodgers. Where if you we’re good, we have the money so were comin to get ya!

    Who needs continuity when you have all the money in the world. Keep stock piling players so you can buy your way to a Championship. Cheers!

  22. theskinsman - Dec 9, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    That’s been the Yankee model forever. Good for the Dodgers, if they want to pay the luxury tax,so be it. If they win the WS, who will be happier?

  23. fuddpucker - Dec 9, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    Zack Greinke: FOUR teams in two years!

    Yep, this is how it’s been working since the 1994 and 1995 strikes. A hot Free Agent moves from his starter team like KC, and Voila! He magically appears on a big budget team like NY, BOS, or L.A.

    Funny how this happens isn’t it? What a stupid way to run a league.

  24. beelza - Dec 9, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    Detroit say bye-bye to Anibal Sanchez. Now, Tigers gotsa sign Soriano. I’d like to see Detroit put something together and snag J Upton. So Greinke gets 24.5 per year ? Whaaat ! I liked to see that valuation sheet. So Verlander will get 30+ per year. Imagine that Dodgers rotation with JV…

    • uyf1950 - Dec 9, 2012 at 7:01 AM

      Imagine the Phillies starting rotation in 2011: Halladay 19-6 (2.35 ERA) , Lee 17-8 (2.40 ERA), Hamels 14-9 (2.79 ERA), Worley 11-3 (3.01 ERA). Halladay, Lee and Hamels all with well over 200 IP’ed in 2011. All with great Strikeouts to Walks ratio. They lost the division series that year. There are no guarantees that a team will make it to the World Series even with a great starting rotation. It takes staying relatively injury free, getting hot at the right time and a bit of that magical 4 letter word “luck”.

  25. omniusprime - Dec 9, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    I certainly hope that this Greinke is worth this kind of insane money, but of course he isn’t. No player is worth this much money and the owners prove the saying that a fool and his money soon go separate ways. The Dodgers are spending money like drunken sailors on shore leave but will this collection of overpaid, overhyped greedy deadbeats actually win a pennant?

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