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Diamondbacks swoop in to sign Zack Greinke

Diamondbacks swoop in to sign Zack Greinke
Dodgers' Zack Greinke pitches against the New York Mets on Oct. 15. (Gregory Bull / Associated Press)

Zack Greinke has signed a six-year, $206.5-million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, a National League West rival of the Dodgers but not where many Los Angeles fans feared he would land.

The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were reportedly hot on the right-hander's trail. The Diamondbacks were not mentioned in media reports until Friday.

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Greinke was something of an anomaly last season, a clear ace who was the No. 2 pitcher on his team.

But if Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw remained the staff — and team — centerpiece, there was no doubt Greinke was one of baseball's finest pitchers.

In the 2015 season he put together the lowest ERA (1.66) baseball had seen in 20 years, finishing with a 19-3 record and leading the majors in WHIP (0.84), on-base percentage against (.231) and quality stars (30). As testimony to his consistency, he went at least six innings in all 32 of his starts.

In his three years with the Dodgers, Greinke went a combined 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

Greinke turned 32 in October, which left plenty of resistance to a contract of five-plus years. As Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter once famously said, "pitchers break."

But when David Price signed with the Red Sox on Tuesday for what was a record seven-year, $217-million deal, the financial parameters for Greinke were set, despite the left-hander being two years younger than Greinke.

Jon Lester, however, was only one year younger last season when he signed with the Cubs for six years and $155 million.

Kershaw signed a seven-year, $215-million deal with the Dodgers before to the 2014 season. He teamed with Greinke to give the Dodgers the most imposing one-two rotation tandem in baseball.

Greinke originally signed a six-year, $147-million contract with the Dodgers prior to the 2012 season, but the deal gave him an opt-out option after three years. He exercised that provision last month, walking away from the remaining $71 million on his existing contract.

And now the rich have gotten much richer.

Greinke had social anxiety disorder issues in his past, but the right-hander is considered one of baseball's brightest players and appeared very comfortable with the Dodgers. He was embraced by other players who welcomed his quirkiness, if not his devotion to fantasy football.

Though he had some elbow soreness, the only time he went on the disabled list in his three seasons with the Dodgers was when he broke his collarbone in a brawl with the Padres' Carlos Quentin in his third start in 2013.

Follow Steve Dilbeck on Twitter @SteveDilbeck

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