Zack Greinke Reportedly Expected to Return to Royals for 20th MLB Season

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 4, 2022

Zack Greinke
AP Photo/Abbie Parr

Starting pitcher Zack Greinke is reportedly "expected to return" for a 20th MLB season in 2023.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Thursday the Kansas City Royals are "interested" in re-signing Greinke, who compiled a 3.68 ERA across 26 starts for the club this season while playing on a one-year, $13 million contract.

The 39-year-old right-hander said after his final start of the season he wasn't sure whether he'd be back next year.

"I don't really know for sure what's going to happen," Greinke told reporters in early October. "We'll figure it out eventually, but I don't know at the moment."

He posted solid overall numbers in 2022 despite a low strikeout rate (4.8 per nine innings) basically unheard of in the modern game. He was able to remain effective thanks to limiting walks (1.7 per nine) and keeping the ball in the park (14 home runs allowed in 137 innings).

Greinke was drafted by the Royals in 2002 and made his major league debut for the club in 2004. His first stint in K.C. ran through 2010.

The Florida native proceeded to make stops with the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros before returning to the Royals ahead of the 2022 campaign.

His career resume includes the 2009 AL Cy Young Award, six All-Star selections and six Gold Glove Awards.

Baseball Reference shows him having a fringe Hall of Fame case, including a career WAR (76.4) that's slightly above the average Hall of Famer.

Coming back for at least one more season will give him an opportunity to keep building the case that he deserves a place in Cooperstown.

If Greinke returns but doesn't re-sign with Kansas City, it's possible he could generate interest from contenders in free agency as an option for their back end of their rotation.

Another one-year deal with the Royals seems like the most likely outcome, though.