Biggest Winners and Losers of Zack Greinke's Huge Los Angeles Dodgers Contract
This certainly changes the landscape of the National League West, as the Dodgers are able to add another ace to go with Clayton Kershaw in the front of that rotation as they try to gain an advantage on the world champion San Francisco Giants going into 2013.
There are some big winners and losers of this deal, affecting not only the NL West, but the front-runners in the American League West as well.
As the Dodgers amass the biggest payroll ever in NL history, they still may be searching for players to shop for as the rest of the free-agent period now can play out with one of the big dominoes knocked down.
Los Angeles Dodgers
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This may seem really obvious, but Greinke-Dodger Stadium is an extremely good match.
With the Dodgers already boasting the third-best ERA in the NL last year at 3.35, Greinke joins Kershaw, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett in the front four spots of a rotation.
Greinke, Kershaw and Billingsley could easily be 18-game winners, all but assuring a playoff appearance if they are.
They promised to contend as soon as the ownership changed from the loathed McCourt family to the beloved Stan Kasten-Magic Johnson group, and that new ownership certainly has delivered.
They, of course, now have to turn this money into wins.
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While they were the other suitor close to landing Greinke, the fact he did not stay in the division really does not hurt them, either.
They can now concentrate on re-signing Josh Hamilton if they wish and/or go after Kyle Lohse or Anibal Sanchez for their starting rotation.
The Rangers really wanted Greinke, but with the way that ballpark favors power hitters, he could have been an absolute big-money bust there.
Nolan Ryan can console himself with the fact that the Los Angeles Angels could not keep their No. 1 target.
The balance of power in the AL West has not changed.
Los Angeles Angels
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Never really the favorites to keep Greinke after trading shortstop Jean Segura and two prospects to the Milwaukee Brewers near the trading deadline, this will be seen as a huge blow to the Angels' chances of becoming the dominant team in the Southland.
Already now dwarfed by the major television deal that should pay the Dodgers nearly a quarter of a billion dollars a year starting in 2014 (via Los Angeles Times), the Angels need to go back to the drawing board in two key areas.
They need to get the tools on the mound to help their great sluggers—Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo—not only to get past the Rangers and Oakland Athletics in the AL West, but now must compete for fans, television exposure and just sheer dollars with the very rich team in downtown Los Angeles.
It may have been better for the Angels to lose Greinke to the Rangers, as it would have made it very unlikely they would have kept Josh Hamilton at all.
While Hamilton is certainly not assured of re-signing with Texas, his resume with Texas is solid, and the Angels have finished behind the Rangers and the playoffs the last three seasons.
San Francisco Giants
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Things have gotten a whole lot more interesting up north for the Giants.
Now that the most heated rivalry in National League history has been turned up a few more degrees, will the Giants try to do what the Red Sox started doing in the late '90s and start spending money by the millions to keep up?
They have a very solid rotation, and Sergio Romo has certainly earned the closing role he inherited when Brian Wilson went down to injury.
The problem is going to be a couple years down the road for San Francisco.
The Dodgers are going to be printing money, and not even the New York Yankees can keep up with that cash flow.
Do the Giants try to redo their television deal to get a cash infusion, or do they continue to draft good talent and develop them into great ballplayers like Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval?
We seem to be on the verge of another major escalation of player salaries now, the likes of which we really have not seen in 10 years or so.
How the Giants adjust will determine how much they lose in the long run.
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Greinke just hit the Powerball here, paid in six installments of $24.5 million.
He goes back to a pitching-friendly ballpark and is not even the biggest name in his starting rotation.
With the owners now being the biggest stars on the team outside of Vin Scully, Greinke took his liking of Southern California and actually found the less stressful situation for him to be in.
Trust me, the Dodgers are inviting themselves to be under a huge microscope now, the size normally reserved in L.A. for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. But Greinke is more insulated from that glare with the Dodgers than he would be as the ace of the Angels.
His manager, Don Mattingly, is very low-key. If Greinke just focuses on giving seven innings every five days, he will be just fine.
Along with being very rich.