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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Greinke to Arizona! Bravo LaRussa and Stewart!

Wow!  Wow!  I love this deal.  It's even more bold than Boston signing David Price as the Yankees look on with a blank stare.  Zach Greinke signs with the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Who cares about the years and dollars.  Arizona front office leaders Tony LaRussa and Dave Stewart made the deal and just punched both the Dodgers and Giants in the nose!  Pow!
Photo of Dave Stewart
Dave Stewart
GREINKE MAKES ARIZONA A CONTENDER By Jamal Collier December 5, 2015

D-backs were searching for a front-line starting pitcher ... reportedly offered Johnny Cueto a six-year, $120 million contract this offseason.

Then, the stunner: Virtually out of nowhere, the D-backs signed Zack Greinke to a reported six-year, $206.5 million contract.

There might not be a more shocking signing during the rest of the baseball offseason. The Dodgers and Giants were reportedly the two finalists locked in a bidding war for Greinke, who was assumed to be deciding between the two teams in the coming days. But Arizona enticed Greinke with an offer he couldn't refuse.

After being rejected by Cueto, LaRussa and Stewart must have thought: "Cueto? We don't need no stinkin' Cueto".  So instead of increasing their offer to Cueto, and sick of hearing about the battle between the Dodgers and Giants to sign Geinke any minute, LaRussa and Stewart decided to forget about Cueto and PUNCH their chief division rivals right in the nose.  In the nose!  LaRussa and Stewart swooped in and took Greinke right out from under at least one of those two teams.

In recent posts I've been killing Yankee owner and chief executive Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman for being timid in the extreme.  Now Arizona practically mocks Yankee decision making.  How weak do the Yankees look now?  Pretty damn weak.

So the two big free agent pitchers have big contracts for several years well into their 30s: Price for about $31 million per year, Greinke for about $34 million per year.  Greinke will also cost Arizona a draft pick.  A few years ago it was estimated that qualifying for the tournament meant that the team would increase revenue by about $25 million.  I don't know what that figure would be today.  In 2015 Arizona won 79 games.  The wildcard teams in the National Conference won 98 and 97 games, which are extremely high and unusual.  But in the American Conference the two wildcards won 86 and 85.  Do you think that Zach Greinke can boost Arizona to 85 wins?  How about 83?  83 wins could have Arizona in contention entering the final week of the season.

Some think that the $30 million could be spent on two good pitchers.  Those two pitchers might contribute more in the regular season but in the tournament only one can pitch at a time.  Despite the little impact most great pitchers have made in the two wildcard tournament years, I still like having that standout starter at the top of my rotation.

Those extra years at the end of these long contracts contain bonus money, which is not added to team payroll during the early years that are more likely to have big production.  That started with slugger Miguel Cabrera.  In that sense the teams are not stupid.  They do not expect big production in the later years.  However, the standard pundits continue to hammer away at that.  Maybe that's why NONE of them saw Arizona signing Zach Greinke.  Pow!

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