D-Zacks! Arizona gets Greinke: 6-year, wild-West deal

December 5th, 2015

PHOENIX -- In a stunning turn of events, the D-backs were the winners of the Zack Greinke Sweepstakes on Friday night, agreeing to a six-year, $206.5 million deal with the right-hander, which was finalized on Tuesday.

Right-hander A.J. Schugel was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

The D-backs had been in the hunt for starting pitching and offered Johnny Cueto a six-year, $120 million deal last month that was rejected. But before a Ken Rosenthal report early Friday evening, the D-backs had not been linked to Greinke.

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The Greinke deal averages to $34.42 million a year, which would be the largest annual value in Major League Baseball history.

The D-backs had about $40 million to spend this offseason, but a six-year commitment is a huge risk in a market such as theirs, something that team president/CEO Derrick Hall addressed Thursday night.

"We have something good and we have to be careful we don't unravel it, because we're impatient or because we're jumping it or trying to keep up with the Joneses," Hall said. "We just can't do that. If you're going to improve you have to do what's within your range, within your budget. You have to be disciplined. That's the key, you have to be disciplined."

Obviously, the D-backs believed Greinke was the right pitcher to break the bank for, and it's hard to argue with that.

This past season, Greinke was 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA, finishing second in the National League Cy Young Award vote to the Cubs' Jake Arrieta. Greinke was seventh in the voting for the NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The deal with the 32-year-old Greinke not only helps the D-backs on the field, but it also delivers a blow to the division-rival Dodgers and Giants, who were believed to be the two main suitors for Greinke's services.

• Justice: D-backs send winning message with Greinke

The largest previous contract doled out by the D-backs was the six-year, $68.5 million deal given to Cuban free-agent outfielder Yasmany Tomas last offseason.

Over his 12-year career, Greinke has a 142-93 record with a 3.35 ERA.

D-backs land Greinke

Greinke jumps to the top of a rotation which also includes Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray and Rubby De La Rosa.

The D-backs were seeking a pair of starters this offseason, but it's not known if the massive deal for Greinke will limit them. It's possible that they could seek a trade to add a second pitcher if they don't believe they have more room in their budget to pursue another free-agent pitcher.

Greinke struggled at Chase Field initially in his career while pitching for the Royals and Brewers, but since joining the Dodgers in 2013, he has allowed just three earned runs in 41 1/3 innings.

The deal with Greinke will also cost the D-backs their 2016 first-round Draft pick (No. 13 overall) and will net the Dodgers a comp pick at the end of the first round.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)

Regardless of where he signed, Greinke would have ranked as a mixed-league ace in 2016. But since Chase Field is not pitcher friendly, the right-hander will have to be especially effective in order to again rank among the top-5 fantasy arms. And because Arizona lacks a lockdown bullpen, Greinke could see his value dinged a tad by a few blown leads. Overall, the 32-year-old will more than likely continue to contribute great things to fantasy owners in '16 -- especially if he can keep his K/9 rate around its lifetime level (8.1). Wise fantasy owners should set expectations for a 3.00 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP and hope that Greinke exceeds those marks.