David Price tied Miguel Cabrera‘s record with his $31 million average annual salary with the deal he agreed to with the Red Sox on Tuesday, but that record may not last more than a few days. Zack Greinke — who is expected to pick between the Dodgers and Giants — is likely to beat it by a bit when he agrees to his deal.
Greinke’s field of suitors has been barrowed slightly now that Price has gone to the Red Sox, but he has the right two at the top. Barring something shocking, the big-market, rival Giants or Dodgers, the incumbent team, will ink Greinke. And at this point, it’d be a surprise if he didn’t set the AAV record.
The key numbers are $32M and $33M, according to people close to Greinke, and the deal is expected to be for five or six years.
Greinke at 32 is two years older than Price, so he won’t match the $217-million Price deal in total dollars, and as executives point out, Price still has the prime years of 30 and 31. However, Greinke’s 1.66 ERA, the best mark in 20 years, plays.
The only way Greinke may fall short of the average annual value record could be if someone stretches and goes to a sixth year.
There is a perception out there that the incumbent Dodgers are unlikely to go to a sixth year but that the Giants might. True or not, there’s a belief that the Giants are less concerned about age.
There is little doubt, as was written here on CBS Sports that the Dodgers’ main threat are the Giants, who are said to have targeted Greinke first all along, just like the Dodgers did. Both Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN recently wrote that it’s likely down to the two West Coast rivals.
While the idea that Greinke somehow didn’t love the Dodgers clubhouse is overblown or flat wrong — clubhouse sources suggest he was quite comfortable last year — the consistently candid Greinke made it clear three years ago in this spring story with CBS Sports that money talks.
Will Zack Greinke be back with the Dodgers in 2016? (USATSI)