Zack Greinke Goes to Houston Astros in Blockbuster Deal with Arizona Diamondbacks

Zack Greinke
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 31: Zack Greinke #21 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 31, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that, minutes before the deadline, the Houston Astros acquired Zack Greinke and $24 million from the Arizona Diamondbacks. In exchange, the Diamondbacks receive first baseman/outfielder Seth Beer, right-handed pitcher J.B. Bukauskas, right-hander Corbin Martin, and infielder Josh Rojas, who attended high school in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear. Greinke is owed $70 million total from 2020 to 2021 in addition to the remaining $7 million this season. His high salary figured to be a deterrent to getting a deal done this summer. However, the cash involved in the deal, Greinke’s solid track record, his intangibles, and Houston’s playoff hunt convinced the Astros to seal the deal.

Zack Greinke – 2019 Season

Zack Greinke is having an outstanding season. He earned his sixth All-Star berth this year and is leading the National League in WHIP with 0.945. He’s carrying an enviable 2.90 ERA, 153 ERA+, and 3.20 FIP. In keeping with his career norms, he boasts solid home run and strikeout rates. His HR/9 is 0.9 and his K/9 is 8.3.

Standard Pitching
Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G IP H ER HR BB K WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 K9
2019 ARI 10 4 .714 2.87 22 146.0 117 47 15 21 135 0.945 7.2 0.9 1.3 8.3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/31/2019.

Zack Greinke – Playoff Experience

Zack Greinke is experienced in the playoffs, starting 11 games in five postseasons. However, his playoff performances deviate from his regular season standards.  His cumulative postseason ERA stands at 4.03 — far above his regular season 3.36. Most recently, he gave up seven earned runs in only 8 2/3 innings during Arizona’s 2017 playoff run. Certainly, the Astros are hoping that postseason is an aberration. After a subpar post-season with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2011, he posted solid playoff numbers in three consecutive years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as the chart below shows.

Postseason Pitching
Year Tm Series Rslt Opp W L W-L% ERA G IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9
2011 MIL NLDS W ARI 0 0 7.20 1 5.0 8 4 3 0 7 1.600 14.4 5.4 0.0 12.6
2011 MIL NLCS L STL 1 1 .500 6.17 2 11.2 15 8 1 4 6 1.629 11.6 0.8 3.1 4.6
2013 LAD NLDS W ATL 0 1 .000 3.00 1 6.0 4 2 0 0 3 0.667 6.0 0.0 0.0 4.5
2013 LAD NLCS L STL 1 0 1.000 2.40 2 15.0 10 4 0 2 14 0.800 6.0 0.0 1.2 8.4
2014 LAD NLDS L STL 0 0 0.00 1 7.0 2 0 0 2 7 0.571 2.6 0.0 2.6 9.0
2015 LAD NLDS L NYM 1 1 .500 3.29 2 13.2 11 5 3 1 17 0.878 7.2 2.0 0.7 11.2
2017 ARI NLWC W COL 0 0 9.82 1 3.2 6 4 0 1 1 1.909 14.7 0.0 2.5 2.5
2017 ARI NLDS L LAD 0 1 .000 5.40 1 5.0 4 3 2 5 4 1.800 7.2 3.6 9.0 7.2
5 Yr 3 4 .429 4.03 11 67.0 60 30 9 15 59 1.119 8.1 1.2 2.0 7.9

 

Zack Greinke Intangibles

Zack Greinke brings tremendous value as a player with his intangibles. As a fielder, Greinke is like a fine wine. He keeps getting better with age. After not winning a Gold Glove his first 10 years in the league, he finally earned his first in 2014 with the Dodgers. Instead of resting on his laurels, he rattled off four more in 2015 to 2018. Currently, he is aiming for his sixth consecutive Gold Glove.

Additionally, his performance at the plate this year is nothing short of phenomenal for a pitcher. (Since he’s going to the American League, this will be irrelevant unless the Astros win the pennant, but it is still worth mentioning.) As of July 31st, he was batting .271 with three home runs, a triple, and a stolen base to boot. His OPS stands at .883, putting many positional hitters around the league to shame. Certainly, Greinke’s fielding will be a key advantage in postseason play for the Astros, with the added bonus of his bat if he pitches on the road in the World Series.

Standard Batting
Year Age G PA H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ SH
2019 35 24 54 13 4 1 3 8 1 0 2 11 .271 .300 .583 .883 120 4

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