A Rare Outstanding Free Agent Sign

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

In all sports, every GM’s job is basically to accumulate talent, all you can do really is build the most talented team and try to win it all, it’s no guarantee, but it’s obviously the best path.

When acquiring talent you usually have to give up something, it’s all about what you give up, the more you give the more you expect to get, for instance, Carlos Correa is great, but he came at a cost, the number one overall pick, a very valuable pick which you expect to get a great player from, Albert Pujols, on the other hand, was a star in St Louis for many years and he came at the cost of a 13th round pick, which no one reallly expects anything from. A lot of the GM’s job is trying to acquire talent without giving up talent.

I want to talk today about one of the greatest accomplishments in terms of acquiring talent, throughout history you’ll find a lot of times, teams getting lucky with fringe players turning into stars, whether is Justin Turner in LA or Kyle Hendricks in Chicago, I’m talking about a player who was already great, signed a major deal and outpitched his salary.

On December of 2012, the Dodgers and their at the time new ownership made a splash in the free agent market signing the best player available, Zack Greinke to a 147/6 deal with a player opt-out at the end of the third year, now we all know he opted out and wound up only pitching three years in LA, let’s analyze those three seasons.

Keep in mind, Greinke wasn’t compensation eligible, so all that it cost to get him was money and in those three seasons, he made 70 Million Dollars, averaging 23.3 a year.


Below you’ll see his numbers and how they ranked in baseball throughout that period:

2nd in ERA 2.30

5th in WHIP 1.03

2nd in ERA- .63

2nd in RE24 (Run Expectancy) 96.22

2nd in RA9-WAR 24.5

3rd in Baseball Reference WAR 17.5

For some context, that much WAR for that much money equals 4 Mil per WAR, which is off the charts considering 1 Win is valued at the very least 7 Mil.

To top all of this off for a guy who came for free, who completely outpitched his contract, his departure netted LA the 32nd overall pick in the Draft, who the Dodgers used to draft Catcher Will Smith out of Louisville he now is LA’s 11th best prospect, a great defender who clobbered the ball in the Arizona Fall League.

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