Stunned. Shocked. Giddy. Confused?
Emotions ran wild on Friday evening when news spread of the Arizona Diamondbacks agreeing to a six-year contract with pitcher Zack Greinke that by annual average contract value would make him the most well-paid player in MLB history.
Diamondbacks fans were the giddy ones, knowing Arizona had not only added a Cy Young-caliber pitcher but one taken away from the wealthy rivals in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Dodgers fans were probably shaking their heads.
At the least, it’s clear that the amount of money involved — around $200 million — was the storyline. But beyond that, it’s clear the move helps the D-backs and, at the moment, hurts the rival Dodgers.
Here are what those in Arizona, Los Angeles and across the nation are saying about Greinke’s decision to head to the desert.
• Zack Greinke signing makes Diamondbacks sneaky contender (CBS Sports)
With the young position players who can both rake and pick it — yard work guys, apparently — in addition to the spending power, this has the look of a proverbial sleeping giant that decided to wake up with the Greinke signing. Keep in mind, they hovered around .500 all year despite having a terrible rotation.
• Zack Greinke agrees to 6-year, $206.5M deal with Arizona Diamondbacks (AZCentral.com)
Greinke will pitch next season at 32; he’ll be 37 when the deal expires in 2021. But scouts view Greinke as the kind of pitcher who has a chance to age well. He is known for being cerebral, for being able to carve through opposing lineups as much on guile as pure stuff.
• Dodgers analysis: Zack Greinke’s exit intensifies pressure on the front office (Los Angeles Times)
More than ever, the pressure shifts to Friedman and Zaidi. They were just outbid by the Diamondbacks. I keep thinking if I write that enough it will truly sink in. But right now the Dodgers have a rotation of Kershaw and couple of guys. They look light years away from winning another division title, let alone getting over that little 27-year World Series championship hump.
• Greinke is an ace that betters Diamondbacks in many ways (ESPN Stats & Info)
Greinke’s departure also significantly weakens the Dodgers. Greinke and Clayton Kershaw combined for a 1.90 ERA. Other Dodgers starters combined for a 4.41 ERA. The Dodgers went 43-22 when Greinke and Kershaw started. They were 49-48 when other pitchers started.
Greinke’s four best seasons by ERA are better than any season ever posted by a Diamondbacks starter other than (Randy) Johnson.
The projected Arizona rotation: 1. Zack Greinke 2. Patrick Corbin 3. Robbie Ray 4. Chase Anderson 5. Rubby De La Rosa. Ray and Corbin (returning from Tommy John surgery) were solid in partial seasons. If those two can extend that work over 30 to 32 starts, that’s a solid top three.
Signing Greinke doesn’t, by itself, hand Arizona the NL West. You know the Dodgers are going to react with force by signing Cueto and/or Samardzija and/or Ben Zobrist and/or trading for Carlos Carrasco, and you know the Giants are going to add at least one starting pitcher.
Arizona lowered the supply by adding Greinke and heightened the demand for talent around the National League by announcing to the world that this winter would be about more than snakeskin patterns on new uniforms.
• Greinke should provide Diamondbacks value even at this price tag (ESPN Insider)
“Despite its sheer size and the risk any team faces in signing a free-agent pitcher, the deal has a pretty good chance to work out for the Diamondbacks on paper — but they’re going to have to add a couple of additional pieces to turn this team into a playoff contender.”
Here’s a collection of funny, informative and opinionated tweets in wake of the Greinke news
- MLB.com: Five potential free-agent fits for J.D. Martinez
- The 5: Defining moments in the D-backs’ 2017 season
- Reports: D-backs’ Gardenhire finalist for two managerial openings
- ‘We gave everything’: Dodgers end Diamondbacks’ surprise season
- Watch: D-backs’ Miller throws for first time since Tommy John surgery