The Astros have one of the more significant crop of free agents around the league, as the team is facing the potential departures of Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, Kendall Graveman and Zack Greinke, among others. Houston may make an effort to retain some of that group, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter) that Greinke is not expected to return to the Astros this winter.
Assuming he indeed signs elsewhere, Greinke will wrap up his Astros tenure after two and a half seasons. Acquired from the D-Backs in a surprise 2019 deadline day blockbuster, the six-time All-Star worked 62 2/3 innings with a pristine 3.02 ERA down the stretch. While he was knocked around in one start during the Division Series, Greinke had strong showings in both the AL Championship Series and World Series that year.
Over the past two seasons, Greinke has offered more steady mid-rotation production than the ace-caliber numbers he consistently posted for the bulk of his career. He worked 67 frames of 4.03 ERA ball in 2020, and put up a similar 4.16 mark over 171 innings this past season. His underlying numbers this year took a worrying downturn, though, which contributed to the team curtailing his postseason workload. Greinke’s strikeout rate dropped from 24.5% in 2020 to 17.2% this past season, while his home run rate doubled. During this year’s run to the World Series, skipper Dusty Baker relied more heavily on the team’s younger arms, with Greinke working just 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball in three playoff outings.
The dip in swing-and-miss should have some impact on Greinke’s offseason market, but the 38-year-old will no doubt still find plenty of interest. His 4.16 ERA, while his highest mark since 2016, was nevertheless a bit better than the leaguewide 4.34 showing for starting pitchers. Greinke remains one of the sport’s preeminent control artists, with this year’s 5.2% walk percentage checking in 11th-lowest among the 129 hurlers with 100+ innings. And that’s before considering the intangible value teams could expect from the 18-year big league veteran, who is regarded as one of the league’s most cerebral pitchers.
Nightengale suggests Greinke would prefer an opportunity with a National League team. That’s something of an odd distinction on the surface, since it’s widely expected that this offseason’s collective bargaining talks could result in the introduction of the designated hitter to the NL (thereby removing the biggest differentiator between the two leagues). Still, it’s possible Greinke — who played the bulk of the 2011-19 seasons playing for NL clubs — might broadly prefer the accommodations or ballparks in the NL to those of the American League.
The Mets "Missed WAR"
Someone is going to make the mistake of paying Grienke 8 digits a year for his name. At this point it is easy to get a pitcher equally as productive for 7 digits. The 7 digit guy probably has a higher ceiling. The article is right. Grienke is a #4 starter and should be paid as such. $10 million AAV is way too high when you can get another quality #4 for a lot less. He’s been a mercenary his entire career. No Clayton Kershaw style career team loyalty for a guy like this. Maybe just jersey sales money.
Who would sell more jerseys, Grienke, or that more productive #4 that you sign for less?
The Mets "Missed WAR"
@stymeedone: Obviously Grienke. That’s why I brought it up. I said he won’t get the loyalty money the Dodgers are going to pay Kershaw but “Maybe just jersey sales money.” Was that not clear?
sounds like something the angel might do
Yeah, i dont think Minassian is going anywhere near Grienke…
Historically the Angels MO for sure haha!
Already had him and he didn’t want to stay.
must be a 7 year old troll. greinke is the public enemy #1 in halo land!
I wouldn’t say #1 per se, that number would go to someone in the Mo Vaughn, AJ pierzynski, Mark teixeira category, but definitely not liked by the OC fan base.
he said he enjoyed playing for the angels and high-tailed to the dodgers as soon as off-season hit.
Zack cost the Halos Jean Segura..Texiera comp netted Trout….
Dodgers were smart to not do this after his best season. They were 6 years ahead of the curve.
@The Mets “Missed WAR”
E before I, not I before E when it’s Zack G-r-e-i-n-k-e..
The Mets "Missed WAR"
I didn’t know that. I’ll tell you what. I’ll start taking the time to learn how to spell his name when he starts pitching well enough again for me to respect him. I would’ve taken the time 10 years ago but now he is a #4 starter. I got my point across so I don’t care how #4 starters spell their names. Especially when they are mercenaries who show no loyalty to any team other than the team that runs his bank account. As far as I’m concerned his name is actually pronounced Grine-Kee. Who cares. He’s a #4 starter on the downside of his career who probably never did enough to even make it into any individual teams hall of fame. If he starts contending for Cy Youngs again I will start learning exactly how to spell his name. I doubt that happens though.
Don’t be a sick
I meant dick
It tends to auto correct
@. Mets Misses, etc.
A mercenary? I’ve never heard or read anything negative about him. He gets paid well and pitches well. Look at his record. A good teammate. A little strange but most surfers are.
Signing the contract Dave Stewart inexplicably offered him qualifies as mercenary, but those numbers would make most people mercenaries. The rest of Missed Mets’ rant comes from a place that I don’t understand. He’s a dude who plays a game, he didn’t do anything to you.
LOL. Okay then
I like Zach. He’s a pro.
The Mets "Missed WAR"
I was really just joking. I have nothing against Greinke. I actually noticed I typed it right the first time but my autocorrect switches it for some reason. I would say he’s a mercenary. Paid a ton of money and has never stuck around in any organization. From the Royals to the Brewers to the Angels to the Dodgers to the Diamondbacks to the Astros and now to a 7th team. Some of that was trades but clearly either no team ever wanted to make him a pillar of their organization or he himself never cared enough about any organization to try and stick around. His numbers were good enough that he could have stayed with any of those teams (particularly Kansas City, Milwaukee, the Angels or the Dodgers) if he weren’t just totally dead set on taking the highest contract offered to him on the market. Leaving 3 different teams for more money and playing for at least 7 different teams seems pretty mercenary to me. Guys like Freeman, Albies and Acuna are willing to take less money to stay where they want. Greinke would never do that for any organization. He will always go to whoever offers him top dollar and that’s the only thing he considers. To me that’s a mercenary. I don’t really blame him for being a mercenary. There’s nothing really wrong with it. That’s exactly what he is though. It’s a lot easier to care about a declining player when he has spent his career with on team like Jeter or Chipper.
Dont worry, the angels will make a splash and sign him to a 3 year 48 mil contract. Great job Arty
The Orioles should sign him
I know he is not the Grienke of old, but he would be like Pedro Martinez of 2009
I would take him
If Grienke hates playing in the postseason then Baltimore is a great fit
Well he might
Fellow Os fan. Why on earth would someone of Greinke’s pedigree choose to blow up any chance at the HOF by getting shellacked at Camden Yards 81 games a year?
Baltimore is where players go when nobody else calls them.
Well, he is the premier World Series pinch hitter…
Dombrowski on line 1…..
would he like to try closing?
Excellent news for the Astros.
This season was like watching a man’s career end in real time. By September, if he was even healthy enough to pitch, he couldn’t get righties out. His final 6 regular season games, he had an ERA of 7.57 and OPS against of .866.
I know he had some nice, very short outings in the postseason, so maybe some team will pay for those, but I’m glad it’s not my team.
I’ve always envisioned him as the type of guy to end up on the Cardinals. Just seems to fit the mold, can’t really explain it.
Back to the Royals 2 years $22 million. Royals love resigning former players past their prime.
2 years for 22, I’d hope the Jays would be in on Grienke on a deal like that.
As a KC fan, I would love this. I don’t think it is that cheap or happens.
Grienke wanted out of KC, and there is a ton of fans who wouldn’t welcome him back with open arms. He also wasn’t here for the glory days like the other players Moore has typically brought back. Add that to him notoriously not being a great clubhouse guy doesn’t help when a veteran leader to help the young rotation arms would be the type of starting pitcher we would probably look at right now.
Back to Milwaukee
Not unless he signs for wayyyyyyyy cheap….plus he’d be our #4 pitcher at this point….not a huge need.
Probably unlikely he returns to Brewers, but would be cool to see.
If the Mets can sign Greinke and get Syndergaard on a QO, a rotation of Degrom, Syndergaard, Greinke, Walker, and Megill (Peterson and Carrasco as depth) would be great
Greinke and New York ( Mets or Yankees) not happening. Why? Remember the mental health issues?
Yes, someone would have to be mentally ill to sign with either the Mets or Yankees.
If you are in the major leagues you should be able to play anywhere. These guys play in crowds of tens of thousands of people cheering/booing them almost every game (unless you are on the royals cuz no one goes to those games). Maybe Greinke would be better off on his previous team
Wasn’t it the Royals who defeated the mets in the World Series a few years back?
Lee Mazzilli for HOF
Always sounded like bs. Has played in LA and Houston which are not small markets.
Nightengale sucks and lies and sensationalizes. Do we honestly think he knows what Zack Greinke is going to do?
Oakland, Seattle, KC, Detroit, or Minnesota.
I’m thinking bigger fields, teams with pitching depth needs, and payroll flexibility. I wouldn’t want to pay it, but I’d expect $8-10m
Depends on how Greinke and AJ Hinch got along in Houston.
Detroit needs a veteran starter to mentor the young pitchers on the Tiger staff in 2022. Greinke would be a great candidate. Tigers should have the money for a one or two year contract.
When Greinke isn’t on the mound he spends most of his free time in the enchanted kingdom. I think he might actually be a duke or a prince in the kingdom to the north. Ahahahaha!
Should’ve never left the Dodgers
Come home to Kansas City. We still love you
Zack Greinke is just a hard person to figure out what he wants and where he will play! Hes good for 2 years! But where he wants to play not sure at all!
I love Grenike, but he might be nearing his rope’s end. Would be nice to see a send-off in KC. Could also see him go to a team who already has 2-3 establsihed arms and are willing to take a chance on Grenkie to round out their rotation.
For 5-7 million he’s worth the gamble. Nobody’s going to pay him the kind of money that he was previously earning. As an Astro fan, it was mostly enjoyable to have him on the team. Thanks Zack!
I love Greinke. He is winding down yes. Just the way his season went this year.I do wish him luck in whatever he does. If retires where would he with KC or elsewhere.
How about Verlander. Would he want to go another year or two. Would he in Houston or would he go in Detroit and retire there.
I loved what these two did for us but Verlander being out with TJ and age too he is no ace. Probably back end of rotation somewhere.
Do I see our rotation with McCullers, Framber, Garcia, Urquidy and Odorizzi I do not think so.
But as said good luck to Greinke and we shall see what Astros look as off season rolls on especially even with CBA on horizon to know if a stoppage will come. Will teams do things now or will things be quiet until next year
Bearded Texas Hulk
Hall of Famer or Hall of Pretty Good?
former. longevity, success, personally. 100% HoF.
He’s right on the edge to me. Longevity has him up there and assuming he pitches for 2 more years, he should get to 3000 strikeouts.
Angels & NL West
I hope the Angels steer clear of Greinke, Scherzer and Verlander. I fear all three will be over-payed in free agency, but unable to live up to their contracts and past success.
Angels fan here. I wouldnt hate to have scherzer on the staff next year
Angels & NL West
I’m fearful Scherzer won’t hold up in 2022 given his age, the mileage on his arm and the big uptick in innings in 2021 after the shortened 2020 season. Having said that, if the Angels sign him to a one year contract (he will probably get 2 and 3 year offers), I will be rooting for him.
One thing about Zach, at least to me, is that he’s fun to watch. The guy has some unique skills for a pitcher and is a cool character as well. Considering the other “starters” on the Astros, McCullers excluded, I’d much rather watch Zach play the finesse game, with the occasional shenanigans thrown in, than any of the others, where I’d be holding my breath to see which lower order player on the other team hits a 400+ ft. homer at just the right time. Astros starting rotation basically sucks right now, and I don’t see much help on the horizon. Given that, I’d at least like to be entertained. I’ll miss Zach, and wish him well.
I remember Rick Honeycutt saying when the Dodgers failed to re-sign Greinke that he was the kind of pitcher who could be effective into his late 30s. Seem he knew a thing or two about pitching.
$20 million for two years would be fair. A good fit for the Mets IMHO. At least Greinke stays relatively healthy year after year which is more than one could say about Mets pitchers in general.
BTW, I predict the Mets win the NL East in 2022, and as a Phillies fan, it pains me to say that.
Ignorant Sonofab 2
Then why did you say it then? I feel a little uneasy around people who don’t root for their hometown team.
Oh, I root for the Phillies every year. Been doing that since I was a youngster starting in 1953. I just feel, if the Mets stay healthy (Admittedly, a big “if”.), they have a team that could explode and win the division by 10 games. However, I will not be rooting for my prediction to come to pass. I’m hoping (Praying?) Dombrowski can fix our leaky bullpen and add a RH bat with pop to offer Harper more lineup protection.
BTW, I root for all the Philly teams, although in my almost 70years of loyalty I haven’t been rewarded with a championship very often. Sixers offer me my best shot this year.
Ok few problems with your rants @mets “Missed WAR”
1. He was traded from a couple of these teams Ala Kansas City and Milwaukee for a ransom. So I don’t know how your argument works there.
2. Mercenaries are usually all for themselves and the money like you state. Greinke has been one of the best teammates and a community pillar with kids and mental health everywhere he has gone.
3. Hating on someone for leaving for more money is kind of crazy? If anything, he was a genius even with his surfer mentality(like stated above).
I get the whole stay with one team and show your loyalty. I respect that in players too( Alex Gordon is one of my favorite players even though he is not elite). Greinke was never going to be that guy in KC.
I am a huge Royals fan and I will always be a Zack Greinke fan. I would be open to him coming back to KC. He is worth every penny and finds a way to reinvent himself everytime it looks like he is diminishing. Not many pitchers have 6 pitches and different angles to throw them at.
The Royals were willing to pay Alex Gordon far more than others teams were…and after sticking with him after he took a long time to breakout. People forget that Gordon was all but a bust for quite awhile.