In November, the Diamondbacks reportedly offered free agent starter Johnny Cueto a six-year deal worth, which the right-hander rejected. Some suggested it was a P.R. move more than anything, to give fans the idea that they were serious about bringing in talent, then settle for a mid-tier starter like Mike Leake who wouldn’t cost them a draft pick and would come at a comparatively much cheaper price.
One day after unveiling some bold new uniforms, the Diamondbacks boldly signed National League Cy Young Award runner-up Zack Greinke to a six-year deal worth a reported $205M, which is the largest average annual value in MLB history. It is arguably the Diamondbacks’ biggest signing since inking Hall of Famer Randy Johnson to a contract 17 years ago.
Greinke finished this past season with an outstanding 19-3 record, a 1.66 ERA, a 0.844 WHIP, and a 200/40 K/BB ratio in 222 2/3 innings. He’s an instant upgrade to a rotation that currently harbors young talent in Robbie Ray and Patrick Corbin, as well as Rubby De La Rosa and Chase Anderson.
Now that the Diamondbacks have forfeited their first-round draft pick, it is worth wondering if the club goes all-out in putting together a competitive ballclub for the 2016 season. Do they make a run at Jason Heyward or Yoenis Cespedes and put either player in a lineup that already includes perennial MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and breakout outfielder A.J. Pollock? At 79-83, the Diamondbacks were that that far away from being considered a post-season contender last season. Greinke alone almost certainly brings them there, and another big free agent signing or trade acquisition could arguably make them NL West favorites heading into the 2016 season.