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Zack Greinke’s deal with Dodgers could reach $158 million

Dec 14, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers new right-handed pitcher Greinke speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles Reuters

Zack Greinke‘s six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers includes a clause that allows him to opt out following the 2015 season and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the contract also has some sizable incentives built in:

Greinke’s base salary in 2018 will increase to $26 million if he pitches 1,000 innings in his first five years of the contract.

If Greinke wins a Cy Young Award, his base salary will increase by $1 million the following season. If he doesn’t win the award but finishes in the top five in voting, his base salary will increase by $500,000 the next season.

If Greinke wins the Cy Young Award in 2018, he will receive a $1 million bonus. If he doesn’t win the award but finishes in the top five in voting that season, he will be paid a $500,000 bonus.

Greinke will also receive a $3 million bonus if he is traded.

Obviously he’s not going to win six consecutive Cy Young awards, but winning one is certainly possible and finishing among the top five vote-getters is definitely doable in multiple seasons. Reaching enough incentives to bump the total value of the contract past $150 million seems likely, although if Greinke is pitching well enough to win Cy Young awards opting out after three years to get another huge long-term deal will probably make financial sense anyway.

  1. jaybird22seven - Dec 14, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Over paid !!!!

    • skipp504 - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      Name a free agent pitcher over the last couple years that wasn’t over paid.

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

        Well for 2010 and 2011 I think Halladay took a pay cut if anything.

      • biasedhomer - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Of course a team is going to have to overpay for the cream of the crop in free agency, but after a certain point, they are just outbidding themselves.

      • paperlions - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Halladay didn’t become a FA, he signed an extension first…didn’t he?

        …but a lot of older guys that sign 1 and 2 year deals aren’t over-pays. The Dempster deal isn’t an overpay. Haren’s deal isn’t. McCarthy’s deal isn’t.

  2. paperlions - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    These types of incentives are so strange…he’s already getting paid like a top 5 pitcher in all of MLB, not just the AL….so if he pitches like he is being paid to pitch….he gets paid more?

    • historiophiliac - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

      I wonder if this would work with Congress…

      • manchestermiracle - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

        Wouldn’t they actually have to start accomplishing something to justify what they already get?

  3. mirmz - Dec 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I thought bonuses like these were getting phased out in the new CBA – anybody care to explain? Are award bonuses OK, but performance-based bonuses not?

    • ptfu - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      AFAIK, the only permissible performance bonuses are for playing time. Things like reaching X plate appearances, innings pitched, games started or finished.

      I don’t think you can get a bonus for events that happen within games, such as hitting X home runs or striking out X hitters.

  4. gibbyfan - Dec 14, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    I saw a great piece on Bloomberg this morning about the cost of cable for sports programming. It was estimated that in the NY/NJ area to be about $55/month.The kicker is people who subscribe to cable have little choice because a lot of the expense is part of a bundle. So, that is at least in some part where all the absurd $$$ are coming from. So, if true, it means that a significant part of the money being thrown around is coming out of the pockets of those who either dont use the product or even those that do but have no choice in the matter
    Good news is, as I understood it, the FCC is taking the matter under advisement and there might be some hope for redress–maybe subscribers could either opt in or out for the sports package. If that were to happen I think we would see a major and refreshing sea change take place. I bet all of a sudden players would find tha tthey actually may be able to get by on just a couple million/year.
    For myself, I am going to look into it a little more and if I do understand it correctly I will be finding a way out. I have no problem with with players making whatever the market dictates–that’s the american way. But I want no part of susbsidizing it at prevailing levels.

    • kkolchak - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      “FCC is taking the matter under advisement and there might be some hope for redress”

      While I absolutely agree with your point, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the FCC to grow a pair of stones and challenge these billionaire sports owners.

      • gibbyfan - Dec 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        I’m afraid you are probably right KK, but I think if this becomes widely known there should be enough outrage that maybe something will be done –although I have seen comments on here about it, it didnt really hit home until I saw the piece this morning.

    • manchestermiracle - Dec 14, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      I can’t disagree with your frustration, but let’s not forget all the other crap channels one must also buy when one is stuck with either cable or satellite. There are, I kid you not, more than six pages (seven channels per page) on my Dish Network guide that are either shopping or religious channels. Certainly more than the basic sports package has, and enough to make a shopping-phobic atheist take up gardening.

      With a decent internet connection you can always invest in a smart TV and pay for only the stuff you want. Streaming HD content, as well as speed, is getting better by the day.

  5. beantown85 - Dec 15, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    I wonder what’ll happen when they realize that LA fans are fairweathers and won’t go to games unless they’re winning the NL west. They’re gonna have a hell of a time shedding some of those ridiculous salaries. Especially some of the salaries they took from the Red Sox

    • gibbyfan - Dec 15, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Well Beantown –at least if gives me something to root for next season. It’s not likely to happen because it’s all about $$$, But i for one woul dbe delighted to see a repeat of last year–both the Dodgers and Angels home for the playoffs- with their cpllective payroll of 400 Million -there a certain kind of justice to that.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Dec 15, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      II want to be like a Boston fan and suffocate the crap out of the sports figures representing my town.

      And the Dodgers regularly draw 3 million in attendance. Been doing it since the early ’80s, Beanbag.

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