That? That is the sound of inevitability. The sound of the nouveau riche throwing their money around and getting what they want. How much money? $147 million bucks. What do they want? The services of one Donald Zachary Greinke for the next six years.
It had to happen. And now it looks like it is.
We could sit here all night long and squabble over whether Greinke is an ace or not. If you have reservations over the dissonance between a pitcher’s peripheral stats and his results, you are well within your rights. You can’t make the same claim about Clayton Kershaw, Greinke’s new teammate. The presence of the 2011 Cy Young award winner takes any “pressure” a pitcher in Greinke’s situation might feel operating alongside lesser talents.
If Zack Greinke, the pitcher, has one shortcoming it is the long ball. Heading to Chavez Ravine is an excellent antidote for that disease. He joins Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Hanley Ramirez, and Carl Crawford as very obvious examples of the Dodgers flexing their financial might.
As talent goes, Zack Greinke takes a backseat to no man. He’s one of the most reliable pitchers in the game, making 160 starts over the last five season, pitching more than 1000 innings and ranking fifth in Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement. His 2009 season was one for the ages, pitching 229 innings of 2.30 FIP ball in the American League. His 9.3 fWAR total is the highest since Randy Johnson in 2004.
Zack Greinke had better be a historically great pitcher because, if 6/145 are indeed the terms of the deal, Greinke is now the highest paid right-handed pitcher of all time. More than Matt Cain and Roy Halladay and other Acey aces who signed big deals in recent memory.
$/WAR? Well, one could say the Dodgers are paying Greinke like he’s a 6 WAR pitcher now, hoping he can hold that form for at least the first two years of the deal before gently declining, all the while skirting injury like the blessed cherub he is.
In reality? The Dodgers don’t give a care. They give exactly no cares about your penny ante market valuations. NARY A CARE. The Dodgers wanted to bolster their pitching staff with the best guy they could so they did. Does it guarantee them a World Series, which in turn all but guarantees their investment in Greinke? lolnope.
TV deals that might burst like any other economic bubble are going to keep teams like Dodgers flush with cash for the next 10 to 15 years at least. As our own Wendy Thurm showed in her essential post for Fangraphs, the Dodgers are set to earn $280 million dollars a year in TV revenue. A year. PER YEAR.
Zack Greinke, pegged as an odd duck by most who know him, could go full Ricky Williams in June and the Dodgers wouldn’t break a financial sweat. They’re good to go, really. And they’re probably not done. Welcome to the new world order.
even with greinke. word is #dodgers may try for another big free-agent starter. anibal seems to top the rest of their list.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 9, 2012
Obviously the Dodgers want to win because there is no better way to build their brand and blahblah they’re cartoon rich the end.