Zack Greinke to Dodgers: Los Angeles Reportedly Signs All-Star Pitcher

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Zack Greinke #23 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 25, 2012 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Zack Greinke has made his decision. The Cy Young Award winner and coveted free agent has agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman

greinke, dodgers in agreement.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2012

greinke deal is pending physical.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2012


UPDATE: Monday, Dec. 10 at 7:50 p.m. ET by Tim Keeney

It's official. Greinke has passed his physical and is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers (via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times):

Zack Greinke passed his physical examination. His six-year, $147-million deal with the #Dodgers is now official.

— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) December 11, 2012

---End of update---


UPDATE: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 9:25 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos

CBS Sports' Dayn Perry reported that his colleague, Jon Heyman, has confirmed the figures of Greinke's new deal. 

Perry writes, "The Dodgers and Zack Greinke have agreed to a six-year, $147 million contract."

As the report notes, this "will be the second-largest contract ever given to a pitcher, trailing only CC Sabathia's $161 million deal with the Yankees."

---End of Update---


Greinke was the most sought-after starting pitcher on the market following a season that saw him go 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA split between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels. He previously pitched for the Kansas City Royals.

He entered free agency at the ideal time. Not only has he been one of the most reliable pitchers in baseball over the past five seasons, but at age 29, he's also in the middle of his prime. That provided a nice boost to his value.

The Florida native first made headlines back in 2006 as he battled depression, which threatened to derail his promising career. He fought back to earn a spot in the Royals' rotation, and the story has been a positive one ever since.

His crowning achievement came in 2009, when he established himself as one of the best pitchers in the game. He posted a microscopic 2.16 ERA en route to the Cy Young Award despite pitching for one of the worst teams in baseball.

Although Greinke has never been able to match that level of dominance again, his elite ability and solid numbers caused just about every team in need of starting-pitching help to at least consider the talented right-hander.

Greinke is a typical starter in terms of pitch selection. He features a fastball, slider and curve. He also has a changeup and has started working a cutter into his repertoire, giving him an added variation of his fastball.

The advanced stats confirm his ace status. His FIP (fielding independent pitching), which is on an ERA scale, has been below 3.60 for five straight seasons. His strikeout rate has also improved over the years, helping him reach the next level.

Looking ahead, he's a pretty safe investment. He's made at least 28 starts in every season since 2008 and should still have several years of peak pitching left before decline becomes a part of the equation.

The Dodgers finished 86-76 last season and missed out on the postseason despite aggressive moves at the trade deadline. With several new stars on the roster, the expectations will be high for Greinke and his new team. 

He will be expected to earn his massive contract by maintaining his production and helping the team become a championship contender. 

Due to the fact there were so few big-name options available, he's worth the risk. Prized free agents never come at bargain prices, so it all comes down to picking the right spots to take chances.

Signing Zach Greinke definitely falls in that category.