Oh, the feeling of nostalgia.
The Royals signed right-hander Zack Greinke to a one-year deal Wednesday, bringing the 38-year-old back to the organization that drafted him No. 6 overall in 2002. The deal is worth $13 million, a source told MLB.com, and includes $2 million in performance bonuses. Greinke is the second pitcher the Royals added on an active Wednesday after the club traded starter veteran Mike Minor to the Reds for reliever Amir Garrett.
The moves were met with positive reaction from the media, players, and fans alike.
Stocking up on pitching has been the Royals’ top priority this offseason, as their performance at the plate was hardly the biggest issue during the 2021 season. And in the high-octane hitting American League Central, pitching is an absolute must.
The Royals have been eyeing a Greinke return for several years, president of baseball operations Dayton Moore said, and the timing was right this offseason. Greinke was a free agent, and both he and the Royals expressed a desire to have him return.
From the very beginning, Greinke was top priority for Kansas City. Unfortunately, due to the lockout, they were unable to make contact with him. Once the lockout had ended and a new CBA was reached, he was the first player the Royals called, and club officials met with Greinke over the weekend.
“It seems like over the last three or four years it’s something that, truthfully, we’ve targeted,” Moore said. “A desire to someday bring him back. We follow everything Zack Greinke does. He started in this organization, and we have a very special appreciation for him and Emily and his family. It’s something we wanted to work hard to make happen.
“The fact that we had a previous relationship with Zack and a comfort level, that all came together and lined up and allowed us to execute this and perhaps win the tie. I know there were several suitors out there with Zack Greinke.”
It’s a reunion years in the making.