Zack Greinke has signed a contract with the Royals for the upcoming season, according to multiple reports. This makes nine seasons for the six-time All-Star pitcher in two stints in Kansas City.
The deal’s financial terms were initially reported by sports radio host Bob Fescoe, but they were not immediately available. Greinke was paid $13 million by the Royals last year. He played there for his first seven seasons, going 3-9 with a 3.68 earned run average and striking out 73 in 137 innings for the rebuilding team.
While Greinke was on the disabled list twice, he only gave up two runs or fewer in 17 of his 26 starts this season.
Most importantly, Greinke guided one of baseball’s newest rotations with experience. Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic, both in their 20s, also made progress, while Brady Singer, who was only 26 years old at the time, rose to prominence.
Greinke, who turns 40 in October, started his professional life in Kansas City as a volatile first-round amateur draft pick. Before making it to the big leagues two years later and beginning a 20-year career that included stints with the Brewers, Angels, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Astros, he was close to quitting the game.
With 514 career starts and 3,247 innings pitched, the 2009 Cy Young winner ranks first among active pitchers. With 223 victories, Greinke is second only to Justin Verlander, third in strikeouts (2,882), and he has won six Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.
The Royals have been busy in the weeks leading up to spring training after being quiet for most of the offseason.
They recently dealt for three pitching prospects, sending starting outfielder Michael A. Taylor to the Twins and injury-prone shortstop Adalberto Mondesi to the Red Sox. They also signed Aroldis Chapman, a seven-time All-Star reliever, to a $3.75 million contract for 2023 in the hope that he can rebound from a disappointing season with the Yankees.
The Royals signed pitchers Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarbrough earlier this offseason. Although Yarbrough’s value is more likely to be found in the bullpen, both of them are viable candidates for the rotation that starts the game.