As you might have guessed, the Arizona Diamondbacks being able to sign prized free agent pitcher Zack Greinke was not small matter in the organization.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has all the details, ranging from assistants being locked out and the startling fact that the entire process took just under six hours.
According to Rosenthal, D-backs managing general partner Ken Kendrick was the one who started the entire process. Kendrick was able to find a way for the D-backs to afford the $200 million contract that they would agree to with Greinke through deferred payments.
While the process took under a day, Kendrick and team president Derrick Hall did discuss the idea of signing Greinke for the past week or so before the day of.
Kendrick called Hall who then called chief baseball officer Tony La Russa and then it was time to set the wheels in motion.
Greinke’s agent, Casey Close, was the man to call and La Russa had called him, with Hall telling La Russa to let Close know that both Hall and La Russa will speak to him together when they arrive at D-backs offices.
As you might remember, Greinke revealed during his press conference that he was “minutes away” from signing elsewhere, so the race for Hall back to the office and the ensuing events are even further magnified by that fact.
A scramble ensued when Hall, who wanted to talk to Close the second he got in his office, did not have his phone number and his executive assistant Brooke Mitchell did not have it in her computer. She would then go to senior vice president of baseball operations De Jon Watson’s office, only for it to be locked because he was taking a phone call.
Luckily, Mitchell called Watson on his cell phone and had him come out of his office in order for Mitchell to receive the number.
With all of that occurring in the span of a half-hour, Hall had now arrived at the office without any knowledge of how much the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants had offered. Watson told Hall he needed to go big and he did just that with the $200 million offer over six years.
During breaks in the negotiations, general manager Dave Stewart — who was away on personal business — texted Hall.
While the D-backs did not speak to Greinke during the negotiations, La Russa told Rosenthal that he remembered Close saying that Greinke was “thrilled that you jumped in.”
According to Rosenthal, Greinke had “specified to Close certain aspects of the D-backs’ game that appealed to him.”
Five hours after that phone call was placed, the D-backs had their ace.