The Dodgers have signed Zack Greinke to a 6-year, $147 million contract, according to Jon Heyman, with Gina Miller getting the scoop. The $24.5 million average annual value of the deal makes him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball on a per-year basis.
If you’ve followed me in years past, you’d know that I usually do some type of efficiency analysis in terms of whether the deal makes sense on a dollars per WAR basis, but at this stage, with the 2013 payroll already around $235 million, I’m not sure it matters as much.
The important part now is whether or not Greinke is a quality pitcher and whether he makes the Dodgers better, and those questions aren’t even debatable.
After battling back from anxiety issues and becoming a full-time starting pitcher again, he has averaged 5.7 FIP WAR and 4.8 RA WAR over the past five years. Needless to say, he’ll slot in nicely behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation, and even looking if we do look at it from the $/WAR perspective, at a $5 million per WAR rate and growing, it hardly seems like an overpay.
Update: Jim Bowden said on Twitter that the contract has an opt-out clause after three years, and that it also has a provision in case he’s traded.
According to a Dodger source:Greinke has a full player opt out clause after 3 yrs & if traded during contract he can opt out at end of yr
Not sure how legit this is considering that he was the one shilling the hardest of the “Greinke to the Rangers” crowd, but if it’s true, does it change anything?
Obviously the risk here shifts entirely to the team, much like with the J.D. Drew situation, but if he pitches excellent and opts out at 32 to look for a new contract, either the Dodgers let him walk and go after another front-end guy, or give him a minor raise/extension to retain his services, much like the Yankees did with C.C. Sabathia.
I’d rather not have it in there, but it’s not a deal-breaker or anything.