Earlier today, the deal that has been the talk of the town, was finally consummated when new starting pitcher Zack Greinke donned his new Dodger jersey and ball cap for the first time amid an army of reporters.
Having recently signed a league record six-year deal for $147 million, the Dodgers continued to show the rest of baseball that they planned to be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future.
When asked why he chose to play for the Dodgers over the other teams who expressed interest, Greinke said, “Besides the money, the number one (reason) was to have the team that could have a chance to win a world series for several years.”
He said that when it came to the time to pick a team out of his suitors, he wrote down the lineups of all the teams and when he looked at the Dodgers’ probable lineup that included Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford it dawned on him just how much potential they offered.
“…it made me realize how good the offense is on this team,” Greinke said. He added, “There’s a lot of talent in this organization.”
Greinke joins a potentially dangerous pitching staff headed by staff ace Clayton Kershaw with another newly acquired star pitcher in Ryu Hyun-jin, Chad Billingsley and Josh Beckett rounding out the starting five.
Signing Greinke long term gives the Dodgers a second Cy Young award winner under the age of 30, which no other team in the majors can claim the same. By teaming Kershaw and Greinke up as a solid 1-2 punch, it arguably makes the Dodgers’ front end of the rotation the best in Major League Baseball.
“We are very pleased to add a second pitcher who has won a Cy Young award to this rotation and organization. We believe he brings a lot to this team and to a pitching staff that was already very good,” Colletti said.
Not only do they both have the potential to win more Cy Young Awards, they both have career ERAs below 3.80 and each have at least three seasons with 200 or more strikeouts. They both also pitch deep into games, with at least four seasons of 200-plus innings pitched for both of them.
The acquisition of Greinke is just another notch in the Dodgers’ belt. Since new ownership headed by Mark Walters, Stan Kasten and local sports legend Magic Johnson has taken over, they have amassed a dangerous lineup and a top-line rotation to make a world series run while increasing their projected payroll for 2013 to a major league record of $225 million.
With a major TV deal in the works that could top $7 billion, the Dodgers don’t seem worried about spending money. In addition to the $147 million they gave Greinke, they also spent $250 million in acquiring the trio of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawdord and Josh Beckett, $42 million for Cuban All-Star defector Yasiel Puig, $85 million to keep Andre Ethier gunning runners out from right field and $160 million to keep Matt Kemp’s deadly combination of power and speed patrolling center field.
When Magic Johnson was asked whether money was no object he simply replied, “We want to win.”
The city of Los Angeles and Dodgers fans around the world agree. And by bringing Zack Greinke on board, the Dodgers have become one of the favorites to do so.
Greinke, was a combined 15-5 last season with the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He posted an ERA of 3.48 with a WHIP of 1.196 while striking out 200 batters.