Zack Greinke Contract: Dodgers Smart to Refuse No-Trade Clause

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Zack Greinke Contract: Dodgers Smart to Refuse No-Trade Clause
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers took care of their team for the present and the future with the signing of Zack Greinke.

By signing the former Cy Young winner, the team gets an experienced pitcher with elite skill to add to the rotation. Last season, he won 15 games and compiled a 3.48 ERA between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels.

On the other hand, this addition did not come cheap. Gina Miller of DFW Sports reported that the deal is worth $147 million:

This would be the largest contract for a right-handed pitcher, and the average of $24.5 million per year would be the most for any pitcher in history.

ESPN's Jim Bowden reported the breakdown of the contract on Twitter:

Bowden also added some interesting facts about a no-trade clause:

These notes create a different mindset for the pitcher's future with this team.

High-priced free agents, especially pitchers, do not always work out. Heading into 2013, the three highest-paid players will be Alex Rodriguez, Vernon Wells and Johan Santana. It would be surprising if any of them even reach the All-Star game.

Santana is also a prime example of injuries that can occur to pitchers in the later stages of a career. A shoulder injury has limited the southpaw to only 21 starts in the last two years.

In other instances, the player performs well but does not fit the team. This would leave a team an option for a trade.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Despite the massive deal, the Dodgers have given themselves an opportunity to end things with Greinke. The lack of a no-trade clause gives the team freedom to move the pitcher whenever they see fit.

Jose Reyes showed what could happen without a no-trade clause, as he was traded only one year after signing a long-term deal with the Miami Marlins.

In addition, the fact that this deal is spread out relatively evenly throughout the final years gives the team a bigger chance of making a trade. It would not be easy moving a player worth $24 million, but it would be tougher moving one worth $30 million.

There is no way to guarantee that Greinke will be an elite pitcher with the Dodgers. However, the team needed to give up a lot of money and years just to acquire his services. At least the front office had the foresight to put in a contingency plan.

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