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Hot Stove: Dodgers Sign Zack Greinke
Reggie Yinger | Saturday December 8th, 2012
Zack Greinke lands a six-year deal with the Dodgers. (US Presswire)
Zack Greinke lands a six-year deal with the Dodgers. (US Presswire)
The Los Angeles Dodgers were able to land the most prized starting pitcher of the off-season this weekend. The Dodgers announced that they agreed to terms with right-handed starting pitcher Zack Greinke.

The contract is reportedly worth $147 million and will be for six years. The contract is not official, as it is still pending a physical. The contract with Greinke will be the highest contract paid to a right-handed starting pitcher.

Greinke, 29, spent parts of the 2012 season with the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels. Between the National League and American League, he posted a 15-5 win-loss record with a 3.48 ERA in 212 1/3 innings.

The Orlando, Florida native is no stranger to success. In his nine-year, big-league career - he is 91-78 with a 3.77 ERA, 3.45 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), and 8.03 strikeouts per nine innings (K/9). He won the American League Cy Young Award with the Kansas City Royals in 2009. Since 2009, the righty has averaged 5.9 fWAR (Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement) over the past four seasons.

Greinke was "linked" to many teams this off-season, but the deal really came down to Greinke, the Dodgers, and the Texas Rangers. Greinke's deal provides the Dodgers with six-years of "ace" quality pitching results, and also makes the Dodgers look like a favorite on paper to win the NL West - but we all know how that goes.

Here is how Greinke has performed from 2009-2012. It's beautiful.

Google Visualization API Sample

As you can see, Greinke has out performed his ERA totals for the past four seasons. Another reason to show how ERA can be misleading. 

In addition to great ERA, FIP, and xFIP numbers - here's how Greinke has ranked among all starting pitchers over the past seasons when compared to Wins Above Replacement level.

Google Visualization API Sample

Overall, Greinke's been the fifth best starting pitcher among all starting pitchers over the past four seasons - even when he played on the Kansas City Royals.

Currently, the Dodgers starting rotation is looking scary good. It currently consists of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Ted Lilly, and Aaron Harang. However, the Dodgers won posting rights to Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu earlier this off-season, and still have time to work out a deal with the 25-year-old starting pitcher, but the window is closing. If the Dodgers are able to land a deal with Ryu, the team is likely to trade a starter or two.

Overall, there isn't much to dislike about the Dodgers signing Greinke. He's a terrific right-handed pitcher with a great track record. Joining the Dodgers will allow Greinke to pitch like an "ace" every fifth day, but without having the "ace" tag - thanks to Clayton Kershaw.
Reggie YingerReggie is a writer and the co-founder of Baseball Press. He enjoys fantasy baseball and hates when players bunt in baseball.