Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Dodgers: 2013 World Series Champions?
According to Gina Miller of TXA21 (via Twitter), the deal is the largest contract for a right-handed pitcher—in the ballpark of six years and $147 million— breaking Matt Cain’s previous ink-to-paper and passing C.C. Sabathia for highest-paid-per-year hurler in the MLB. (Greinke will make $24.5 MM to Sabathia's $24.4 MM.)
The move, although still pending a physical, will certainly make the Dodgers an early pick for dominance in 2013— regardless if it's not yet even January—leaving only Josh Hamilton as the top-tier prize for teams' wishes this offseason.
But does the move to sign Greinke, mixed in with the Red Sox auction from last summer, really make the Dodgers top dog for 2013?
The answer is yes...but only on paper. And that, as Don Mattingly knows well, might be the downfall of the club next season.
For the new Dodgers ownership, the trending idea they possess seems to be a page right out of the Steinbrenner 2000s book of acquisitions: Spend big. Spend big, again. Then spend big once more. It's World Series, or bust. Literally. ( You can follow the Yankees jump to monetary craziness, with no rings to show for it, here.)
And much like those Yankees' teams in the early to mid 2000s, when Mattingly was a sidekick to Joe Torre, the Dodgers are hoping that the top-dollar talent will earn them a ring. The only problem to their hopeful solution is that none of those high-priced Yankees’ squads delivered on the deal, so why then are the Dodgers certain their thought-process will be any different?
Sure, they now have a solid rotation with Greinke in the mix and the lineup remains one of the tops in the MLB. However, it's not a guarantee they will work well as collective unit; that is always the Achilles heel of any team attempting to field an All-Star-caliber squad at every position.
At the end of the daily wallet burner, while the Dodgers are hoarding expensive pieces for 2013 they still don't have a proven collectible dominance over a team like the San Francisco Giants—they couldn’t catch the World Series champs last season with their new plan already under way, possibly leaving many extremely skeptical.
For now, their newfound arrogance in spending is only surprising, at best. Especially when considering that blowing the budget on high-priced pieces and players (the Los Angeles/Hollywood way) doesn't always make for the best outcome in this town. Anyone remember Waterworld?
And, as silly as it sounds, the argument could be that simple. After all, $147 million is a lot of cash to throw at someone that will only impact wins and losses every five days—assuming Greinke stays healthy.