Royals sign Greinke through 2012

I have the honor of filling in on the Royals beat this week for the great Dick Kaegel, which means I got the call this morning when Kansas City announced it had signed starter Zack Greinke to a four-year, $38 million contract through 2012. It took about three seconds to realize this was bad news for the Tigers.

Check out the splits: Eight of Greinke’s 34 career wins have come against the Tigers, and his 3.19 earned run average versus Detroit is more than a full run under his 4.28 ERA overall. Magglio Ordonez is just 4-for-27 lifetime off Greinke, while Curtis Granderson went 0-for-8 against him last year.

That said, the deal is great news when you consider where Greinke was three years ago, sitting at home, having left spring training, and not sure if he wanted to play baseball again. Once he got some help, he was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Before you brush that off, read what he said today at his press conference about where his mind was (boldface inserted by me for emphasis):

“When I left, I didn’t realize there was a cure for what I had, where I just hated being around people. I just love baseball, and I was going to get a job where I didn’t have to be around people all the time. Mainly mowing grass was my goal, to start up a good lawn-mowing business and just do that. But [then-manager] Buddy Bell and [former GM] Allard [Baird] really helped me out a lot in that time. They sent me to someone to just talk to me. The psychologist figured out that it was pretty simple how I could change what I was thinking and feeling in those situations.

“Every Major League team is always going to do what’s best for them, but it was awesome. They could’ve easily pushed me aside, or just helped me get back and then dump me off whenever they could get something for me. But they did everything they could and bent over backwards for me from the beginning. Even when we switched from Allard to Dayton [Moore], it might not have been his first priority, but to me, he made it seem like his first priority, to make sure that he knew how to handle my situation and what I was going through.”

Now you understand why this is a pretty good story, even if it isn’t good news at all for the Tigers. You can check out the video of the press conference at nbcactionnews.com.

By the way, if the contract terms sound familiar, they’re the exact same terms of the contract Jeremy Bonderman signed a couple years ago. Like Bonderman at that time, Greinke was a couple years away from free agency, and there were rumblings whether the Royals might consider trading Greinke if they couldn’t get a deal done this winter.

5 Comments

Good for Greinke. He’s with a good organization. I think, however, that we’ll do a little better against him this year. The Tigers seem to get a little overconfident when they see that Royal blue. At least that’s how it looks to me.
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As they say, when all is said and done, there’s nothing more to say or do, but I won’t let that stop me. Dombrowski has accomplished exactly what he set out to do and, IMO, has done a good job this winter. As difficult as it may be to believe, this team is improved from last year’s. Yes, the one that was a shoo-in for the WS. Sure, we didn’t get Wood or Putz, but there’s no guarantees that they would have been the answer anyway.
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I complained last year that we’d loaded up on stars but hadn’t filled TEAM holes, and that has been rectified this winter. I’m good with what we’ve got.
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Any idea why Timo Perez is never mentioned as the much needed LH bat? The guy can certainly hit.
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–Rich

The Tigers would like to get some power if they have a left-handed bat off the bench. While Perez has demonstrated he can hit for average and slash the gap for doubles, power is not his game. Plus, his career average as a pinch-hitter in the major leagues is under .200. Jeff Larish is seen as the all-around better bat.

Jason, the changes you have made to the Blog are good including the Q&A’s. Appreciate your feedback to the armchair critics of which I happily include myself.
Any reason to have the Hot Stove separate, or a way to have your postings to the Blog come up as a separate Tiger news item linked back to the Blog?
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Having bagged DD all through the ’08 season, I have been happy to give him credit through the winter for the team he has rebuilt with barely the smell of an oily rag. Just hope we can bag Cordero as closer backup insurance for mid year.
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One of my big concerns for 2009 is the lack of leadership among our pitchers and it has worried me that JV sees himself in that role among the starters.
Jason, have you heard how his contract negotiations are going? It seems he is hanging out for the big bucks with his ego and maturity levels not allowing him to see the big picture and his place within it.

Dave, the Hot Stove blog is actually a league-wide piece in which all the reporters contribute, something the editors set up. The version linked from the Tigers site separates out just the Tigers news from that blog. Not all reporters do their own blogs.

No news on the Verlander front yet. Three important factors to keep in mind: 1. Verlander’s agents are the same ones who were involved in negotiations out of the draft in 2004, negotiations that Verlander’s father stepped in to pick up when they broke off in September/October. 2. The Tigers have not done any multi-year contracts since negotiating Miguel Cabrera’s deal last March. 3. More long-term deals with young pitchers seem to get done when they’re eligible for arbitration the second time than the first. Bonderman, Willis, Robertson, Greinke come to mind.

What’s up to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this web page, and your views are good in favor of new users.

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