KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Royals and Zack Greinke have agreed to a deal next season, according to multiple reports, making it nine seasons out of two stints in Kansas City for the six-time All-Star pitcher.
Financial terms of the deal, which were first reported by Kansas City sports radio host Bob Fescoe, were not immediately available. Greinke was paid $13 million last season by the Royals where he spent his first seven seasons before returning last year to go 3-9 with a 3.68 ERA and strike out 73 in 137 innings for the club under reconstruction.
Greinke spent two stints on the injured list but allowed two runs or fewer in 17 of his 26 starts last season.
Perhaps most importantly, Greinke provided veteran leadership to one of baseball’s youngest rotations. Brady Singer, at just 26, has become the ace staffer, while fellow 20-year-olds Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic have also made progress.
Greinke, who turns 40 in October, began his career in Kansas City as a mercurial first pick in the 2002 amateur draft. He nearly quit the game before making it to the big leagues two years later, starting a 20-year career that included stints with the Brewers, Angels, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Astros.
The 2009 Cy Young winner ranks first among active pitchers with 514 career starts and 3,247 innings pitched. Greinke is second to Justin Verlander with 223 wins, third in strikeouts (2,882) and has six Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards.
The Royals were quiet for much of the offseason, but they were busy in the weeks leading up to spring training.
Just recently, they sent starting outfielder Michael A. Taylor to the Twins and injury-prone shortstop Adalberto Mondesi to the Red Sox, putting up three pitching prospects in the deals. They also signed reliever Aroldis Chapman to a $3.75 million deal for 2023 in hopes the seven-time All-Star can rebound from a disappointing season with the Yankees.
Early in the offseason, the Royals signed pitchers Ryan Yarbrough and Jordan Lyles. Both are candidates for the starting rotation, though Yarbrough’s value will most likely be found in the bullpen.
Information from the Associated Press has been used in this report.