Greinke's six-year deal with Dodgers finalized

By Ken Gurnick / 12/10/12 9:05 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Monday finalized a six-year deal with free-agent right-hander Zack Greinke.
Greinke's deal, which is worth $147 million with an opt-out clause after three seasons, is the largest in history for a right-handed pitcher. Along with Sunday's signing of Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, it sends the Dodgers' 2013 payroll past $225 million, a Major League record. The Dodgers will introduce Greinke in a news conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. PT, which fans can watch live on
"As we set out this offseason to add a front-line pitcher who is capable and proven, Zack was the one we zeroed in on," said Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti.
Greinke and Ryu provide the Dodgers with unprecedented starting pitching depth. With Clayton Kershaw ahead of them and Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett behind, the Dodgers now have the luxury of dangling Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly for potential trades.
"We are very pleased to add a second pitcher who has won a Cy Young Award to this rotation and organization," Colletti said. "We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good."
In contrast to recent years, when the Dodgers scrambled to plug holes with modest signings, they entered this offseason with new owners, bold wealth and clear targets. They quickly re-signed closer Brandon League to a three-year, $22.5 million contract, but left the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., last week with no other additions while focusing on Greinke.
On the business end, their coffers will soon be refilled with a new media deal that has been rumored at $6 billion or more, a significant return on the $2.15 billion purchase price out of bankruptcy earlier this year by Guggenheim Baseball Partners from Frank McCourt.
The Greinke deal will no doubt provide a benchmark in anticipated contract extension negotiations for Kershaw. Kershaw is signed for 2013 for $11 million, the second and last year of a $19 million deal. He will be eligible for salary arbitration in 2014, then free agency in '15, and Colletti has said the club would probably talk about an extension this winter.
Earlier Monday, Dodgers part owner Magic Johnson tweeted: "Dodger Nation I am happy to announce we have signed P Zack Greinke, the best pitcher on the Free Agent Market!"
Greinke, 29, is a Floridian who was a first-round Draft pick out of high school in 2002 by the Royals. He reached the Major Leagues in 2004, pitching in Kansas City until he was traded to Milwaukee after the 2010 season.
It was in Kansas City where Greinke won the 2009 American League Cy Young Award, playing for manager Trey Hillman, who is now the bench coach of the Dodgers. Hillman provided management with insight into Greinke's talents on the mound and idiosyncrasies off it.
In 2006, Greinke opened the season on the 60-day disabled list to deal with depression and social anxiety disorder. In 2008, he was a 13-game winner, and in '09, after signing a four-year, $38 million contract, he went 16-8 with a league-leading 2.16 ERA, was an All-Star and won the Cy Young Award.
In 2011, he went 16-6 with a 3.83 ERA, going 11-0 at home after beginning the season on the disabled list with a broken rib suffered in a Spring Training pickup basketball game.
In 2012, Grienke went a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA, being traded by the Brewers to the Angels on July 27.
Greinke has approached his free agency the way he does just about everything -- differently. Methodical and analytical, he has driven the process in interviews with club executives, leaving few details untouched.
As one of his former coaches said at the Winter Meetings, "Greinke is different -- but in a good way." A former teammate dubbed him "Captain Weirdo." Hillman said Greinke was a good teammate, just not a talkative one.
Greinke is not fond of idle chitchat, as he once told a new locker mate upon their meeting. But he's a power-pitching competitor, which put him at the top of the Dodgers' list for available pitchers coming into this offseason.