Royals sign pitcher Zack Greinke to one-year deal

February 3rd, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo.— The Kansas City Royals announced this morning that they have signed right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke to a one-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a corresponding move, pitcher Anthony Misiewicz was designated for assignment. 

Greinke, 39, went 4-9 with a 3.68 ERA (56 ER in 137.0 IP) and 73 strikeouts in 26 starts with Kansas City in 2022. The 2023 season will mark his 20th in the big leagues.

He reached several milestones last season, including making his 500th career start on June 29 vs. Texas, becoming one of 48 pitchers to reach that mark, one of only 28 in the Expansion Era (since 1961) and the first since CC Sabathia made his 500th start with the Yankees on Aug. 1, 2017. Among the group of 28 pitchers with 500 starts since 1961, Greinke’s career win percentage of .613 (223-141) ranks 6th, trailing only Roger Clemens (.658), Randy Johnson (.646), Mike Mussina (.638), Jim Palmer (.638) and Andy Pettitte (.626). He finished the season with 514 career starts, including 195 with the Royals (37.9%), which are 9 starts behind Danny Duffy (204) for the 7th most in franchise history.

In his July 10 start vs. Cleveland, Zack became the 17th pitcher since 1988 (when data is available) to record 50,000 career pitches. Greinke (51,093) and Justin Verlander (51,434) are the only two active pitchers on the list, which is led by Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (68,226).

Greinke, a six-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, has not committed an error since July 5, 2019, going 82 consecutive appearances (81 starts) and 461.2 innings without a miscue.

A 19-year Major League veteran, Greinke’s 223 career wins are 2nd most among active pitchers behind Verlander (226). With his first appearance in 2023, he would become the 157th player in MLB history to appear in parts of 20-plus seasons, per Elias. Greinke, a six-time All-Star, has won two ERA titles in his career, including his Cy Young Award-winning season with Kansas City in 2009, when he led the Majors with a 2.16 ERA (55 ER in 229.1 IP) to mark the fourth (and most recent) Cy Young Award in franchise history.

Greinke was originally selected by Kansas City 6th overall in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft and spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Royals from 2004-10. In 210 outings (169 starts) with the Royals, he went 60-67 with a 3.82 ERA (470 ER in 1108.0 IP). Following the 2010 season, Greinke played with the Milwaukee Brewers (2011-12), Los Angeles Angels (2012), Los Angeles Dodgers (2013-15), Arizona Diamondbacks (2016-19) and Houston Astros (2019-21) before returning to the Royals for the 2022 season.

Greinke is one of three pitchers in Major League history with at least six Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and six All-Star appearances, including Greg Maddux and Bob Gibson. He is one of three pitchers to win a Cy Young Award, a Rawlings Gold Glove Award and a Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award, along with Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser.

Greinke has pitched in the postseason in eight of his previous 19 big league seasons and is 4-6 in 22 postseason appearances (21 starts) with a 4.14 ERA (52 ER in 113.0 IP).