By Matt Mirro
In an absolutely stunning coup the Arizona Diamondbacks and top free agent starting pitcher Zack Grienke have agreed to terms on a six-year pact. Ken Rosenthal was the first to report the huge news which has absolutely stunned the baseball world. Earlier this week it was reported that Grienke was expected to choose a side in the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants rivalry and the Diamondback’s interest in the 32-year old right hander was reported just hours before a deal was agreed upon. The deal is reportedly worth $195 million dollars which puts the average annual value at a whopping $32.5 million dollars, the largest in Major League Baseball history.
The former Cy Young Award winner put up a stellar season in his third and, what evidently was his final, year with the Dodgers. Grienke pitched to a stunning 1.66 ERA on his way to 19 victories, coming up just short of another Cy Young, losing to Jake Arrieta of the Chicag0 Cubs. Grienke, of course, opted out of his contract with the Dodgers and declined the team’s qualifying offer. They had been favored to re-acquire the ace righty right up until he left for the desert.
According to Rosenthal, Grienke was impressed with the Diamondbacks’ collection of young, budding talent. Who wouldn’t be with the likes of Paul Goldschmidt at first, Jake Lamb at third and Chris Owings as shorstop as well as Yasmany Tomas, David Peralta and A.J. Pollock patrolling the outfield. Rosenthal also adds the team is still interested in free agent starter Mike Leake despite the acquisition of Grienke. For a team that has mired in irrelevance for a number of years this is a possible, if not probable, franchise changer. General Manager Dave Stewart and Tony La Russa seem to have a whole lot of tricks up their proverbial sleeves.