After extensive and at times exhaustive negotiations — or at least that's how it felt on the outside looking in — we've finally reached a resolution in the Zack Greinke sweepstakes.
The 29-year-old right-hander and 2009 Cy Young winner is reportedly set to ink a six-year, $147 million contract with the free-spending Los Angeles Dodgers, which will make him the highest paid pitcher per season in MLB history ($24.5 million per) over a multi-year contract. In total, it's the second richest contract handed to a pitcher behind C.C. Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal four winters ago.
Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown and the LA Times' Dylan Hernandez were among the first report the deal was close early on Saturday evening. Not long after, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported the Texas Rangers gracefully bowed out of negotiations, which opened the door for Los Angeles to close the deal.
The signing becomes just the latest in the Dodgers string of expensive additions that began with the blockbuster trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles. Once Greinke's deal is finalized, it will push the Dodgers 2013 payroll to over $235 million, dead money included. That would be the highest payroll in MLB history if it holds until opening day, and could rise even more if they sign Ryu Hyun-Jim before Sunday's deadline, or another free agent like Anibal Sanchez.
Eric Stephen of True Blue LA has the complete payroll breakdown.
Big League Stew and Yahoo! Sports are sure to have more thoughts on the Zack Greinke contract and the fallout in the coming days. We also expect this to open up the market quite a bit and it could lead to flurry activity now the biggest domino has fallen. Stay tuned.