On this date one year ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed right-handed starting pitcher Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147 million deal that made him the highest paid right-handed pitcher ever. The deal also gave him the largest annual average salary for a pitcher.
Greinke was coming off a season in which he pitched for the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He finished with an overall record of 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA and 200 strikeouts in 34 starts in 2012. The right-hander was one of the top free agent pitchers on the market in the off-season and the Dodgers signed him to pair with left-hander Clayton Kershaw, creating one of the top pitching duos in all of baseball.
The move paid off well for the Dodgers, as Greinke went 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 177.2 innings. He missed some time due to a broken collarbone suffered when San Diego Padre Carlos Quentin charged at him after he was hit by a pitch. Greinke missed a month but came back and finished the season very strong. In the second half, Greinke was one of the top pitchers in baseball, going 7-1 with a 1.58 ERA over the last two months. The 30-year-old also was a sensation at the plate, hitting .328 with four RBI and earned the Silver Slugger award for pitchers.
He also was a force in the postseason for the Dodgers. In three starts, Greinke went 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA. His best performance came in Game 1 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals when he went eight innings and allowed just two runs while striking out 10. The Dodgers end up losing the game in 13 innings due to a lack of run support for Greinke.
The right-hander had played nine seasons with the Brewers, Angels and Kansas City Royals. In 2009, Greinke was named the American League Cy Young after going 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 229.1 innings. In his career, he was 91-78 with a 3.77 ERA and 1,332 strikeouts in 1,492 innings.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Brian Wilson agreed to a one-year contract last week