Surprise! Greinke leaves Dodgers, headed to Diamondbacks

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Greinke, 32, led the major leagues with a 1.66 earned-run average in 2015, and finished as the runner-up to Jake Arrieta for the National League Cy Young Award. He immediately upgrades a Diamondbacks staff that ranked 29th in baseball in innings pitched, 23rd in ERA and 23rd in strikeouts last season.After star left-hander David Price signed with the Boston Red Sox for seven years and $217 million — a contract that became official Friday — Greinke was said to be seeking even more money per year. He certainly got it.Greinke opted out of the final three years and $77 million of his contract with the Dodgers in October. According to one report, his contract with the Diamondbacks also includes an opt-out clause too.His departure leaves the Dodgers with a large void behind Kershaw in their starting rotation. Kershaw and Greinke accounted for 35 wins in 2015; the rest of the Dodgers’ starting pitchers combined to win 29.Because Greinke previously rejected the Dodgers’ qualifying offer (a one-year, $15.8 million contract), Arizona will forfeit the 13th overall pick in the 2016 draft. Every other team, including the Dodgers, moves up one slot. The Dodgers also receive a compensation-round pick and will have three picks among the top 50 next June. From the front office to the clubhouse, the Dodgers badly wanted Zack Greinke back in 2016.But they found their limit Friday when the Arizona Diamondbacks swooped in with a six-year contract worth a reported $206.5 million. That translates to an average annual value of $34.42 million per season – a record for a baseball player and more than the $30.7 million that the Dodgers are paying Clayton Kershaw through 2020.The contract is pending a physical.“We made a very strong offer to retain Zack but clearly he found a deal that fit better for him and his family,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said in a statement. “We are now hard at work on our alternatives. We wish Zack, Emily and Bode all the best going forward.”center_img The San Francisco Giants were the Dodgers’ top rival for Greinke until the Diamondbacks jumped in with a serious bid late in the week. While the sight of Greinke in a Giants uniform might have stung Dodger fans more, they’ll see Greinke just as often in one of the eight uniforms the Diamondbacks unveiled Thursday.Arizona will be the opponent in the Dodgers’ home opener on April 12, 2016. The teams play each other 19 times during the regular season.Friedman will arrive at next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee with a clear need for a No. 2 starter.There are plenty of options in a deep free agent market, with right-handers Mike Leake, Jeff Samardzija, Hisashi Iwakuma and Johnny Cueto among the prominent names still available. Signing Iwakuma or Samardzija would cost the Dodgers a first-round draft pick in addition to their salaries; Cueto or Leake would not.Right-hander Kenta Maeda was recently posted by his Japanese team after winning his country’s equivalent of the Cy Young Award. At 27, he’s the youngest pitcher in the group but would cost his signing team a $20 million posting fee in addition to his salary.The Dodgers also have a relatively deep stash of prospects from which to trade. Now, with Greinke’s salary off the books, they’ll have quite a bit of money to spend too. The Dodgers also have some room to grow: 36 players are on their 40-man roster after pitcher Brooks Brown was outrighted to Triple-A earlier Friday.That the Dodgers were outbid for a 32-year-old free agent shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. General manager Farhan Zaidi said in October that he expected the team would be younger in 2016. Second basemen Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley, and shortstop Jimmy Rollins, are all 32 years or older and poised to leave as free agents too.The winning bidder was a stunner.The Diamondbacks’ Opening Day roster was worth $88.2 million – less than one-third of the Dodgers’ and little more than half of the Giants’. But they gained significant financial clout in February when they signed a television contract worth $1.5 billion.If such a vault into baseball’s upper class rings familiar, it’s because the Dodgers enjoyed a spending spree when they signed a $7 billion megadeal with Time Warner Cable in 2013.Now the shoe is on the other foot. The result, again, is plenty of money in Greinke’s wallet.last_img read more

Maritzburg joined at top by Micho’s Orlando Pirates

first_imgCeltic won 2-1 at Polokwane City, who stunned Sundowns in the previous round, and Baroka triumphed 3-1 over Chippa United in Port Elizabeth.Following two trophy-less seasons, Pirates rehired Serb Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, 10 years after he had a brief spell in charge.Sredojevic prospered since leaving South Africa, winning league titles in Ethiopia and Sudan and taking Uganda this year to the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time since 1978.While Pirates are very much a work in progress judged by the Ajax match, he has tightened a defence that was threatened by the Cape Town outfit only in the dying minutes.Tashreeq Morris forced a reflex save from Wayne Sandilands and later blazed over when he should at least have been on target.“We must learn to kill off games,” stressed Sredojevic, “There is a lot of room for improvement.”Maritzburg would have fancied their chances of a third consecutive league win when former United midfield enforcer Michael Morton conceded an own goal with 11 minutes remaining.But AmaZulu, who finished well down the second division table last season before buying the franchise of the table toppers, equalised through Mhlengi Cele.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Micho guides his team in training. He has tightened the team defence. PHOTO ORLANDO PIRATESJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP |  Maritzburg United surrendered their perfect start to the South African Premiership season Tuesday, allowing Orlando Pirates to join them at the top of the table.United conceded two minutes from time in Durban to draw 1-1 at promoted AmaZulu, having taken the lead through an own goal.Rare starter Bernard Morrison from Ghana struck after nine minutes to earn Pirates a 1-0 win over Ajax Cape Town in Soweto.Maritzburg and former African champions Pirates have seven points from three matches, with United top of the fledgling table on goal difference.Cape Town City, now the only club with a 100 percent record, can take top spot if they win at home to Kaizer Chiefs Wednesday.Pretoria neighbours SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns — considered two of the likeliest title challengers — also have six points.SuperSport took 85 minutes to break down bottom-of-the-table Platinum Stars and a stoppage-time goal by New Zealander Jeremy Brockie completed a 2-0 win.African champions Mamelodi Sundowns triumphed 2-1 at Free State Stars Monday with Percy Tau coming off the bench to bag a brace.The other matches produced surprise away victories for Bloemfontein Celtic and Baroka, who had to top a post-season mini-league to dodge relegation this year.last_img read more