Zack Greinke’s deal with Dodgers could reach $158 million

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Zack Greinke’s six-year, $147 million deal with the Dodgers includes a clause that allows him to opt out following the 2015 season and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the contract also has some sizable incentives built in:

Greinke’s base salary in 2018 will increase to $26 million if he pitches 1,000 innings in his first five years of the contract.

If Greinke wins a Cy Young Award, his base salary will increase by $1 million the following season. If he doesn’t win the award but finishes in the top five in voting, his base salary will increase by $500,000 the next season.

If Greinke wins the Cy Young Award in 2018, he will receive a $1 million bonus. If he doesn’t win the award but finishes in the top five in voting that season, he will be paid a $500,000 bonus.

Greinke will also receive a $3 million bonus if he is traded.

Obviously he’s not going to win six consecutive Cy Young awards, but winning one is certainly possible and finishing among the top five vote-getters is definitely doable in multiple seasons. Reaching enough incentives to bump the total value of the contract past $150 million seems likely, although if Greinke is pitching well enough to win Cy Young awards opting out after three years to get another huge long-term deal will probably make financial sense anyway.

Replay review over base-keeping needs to go

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The Red Sox are off and running in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series against the Dodgers. Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez each hit RBI singles off of Clayton Kershaw to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.

Benintendi’s hit to right field ended with a replay review. Rather than throw to the cutoff man, right fielder Yasiel Puig fired home to try nabbing Mookie Betts, but his throw was poor. Catcher Austin Barnes caught the ball a few feet in front of and to the right of home plate, then whipped the ball to second base in an attempt to get Benintendi. Benintendi clearly beat the throw, but shortstop Manny Machado kept the tag applied. After Benintendi was ruled safe, the Dodgers challenged, arguing that Benintendi’s hand may have come off the second base bag for a microsecond while Machado’s glove was on him. The ruling on the field was upheld and the Red Sox continued to rally.

Replay review over base-keeping is not in the spirit of the rule and shouldn’t be permitted. Hopefully Major League Baseball considers changing the rule in the offseason. Besides the oftentimes uncontrollable minute infractions, these kinds of replay reviews slow the game down more than other types of reviews because they tend not to be as obvious as other situations.

Baseball has become so technical and rigid that it seems foolish to leave gray area in this regard. A runner is either off the base or he isn’t. However, the gradual result of enforcing these “runner’s hand came off the base for a fraction of a second” situations is runners running less aggressively and sliding less often so there’s no potential of them losing control of their body around the base. Base running, particularly the aggressive, sliding variety, is quietly one of the most fun aspects of the game. Policing the game to this degree, then, serves to make the game less fun and exciting.

Where does one draw the line then? To quote Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, describing obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio, “I know it when I see it.” This is one area where I am comfortable giving the umpires freedom to enforce the rule at their discretion and making these situations impermissible for replay review.