While most of the big names in this winter's MLB free-agent class have already signed, one player who remains unsigned is veteran pitcher Zack Greinke. The former Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer is reportedly eyeing a reunion with the Kansas City Royals, where he's spent eight of his 19 seasons so far.
The two sides have yet to reach an agreement, however, which is strange given their past history. MLB insider Ken Rosenthal believes the player and club will both need to compromise in order to strike a deal.
Zack Greinke Royals News
Greinke, 39, pitched for the Royals last season on a one-year, $13 million deal. Despite his advanced age for a ballplayer, he proved to be one of the club's more reliable pitchers, going 4-9 with a 3.68 ERA in 137 innings over 26 starts.
The six-time All-Star is likely seeking a similar salary for 2023, but that may be more than Kansas City is willing to offer after already signing Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarbrough to beef up the rotation. If he truly wants to come back, Greinke may need to accept an incentive-laden contract with a lower base salary to make it work.
That said, the Royals would be wise to offer Greinke a competitive offer rather than lowballing him. Not too many players are clamoring to join a last-place team, and they could use all the pitching help they can get. They also need to be mindful of Greinke's status within the organization and his connection with the fans as one of the club's respected veterans.
With roughly a month until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, there's still time for Greinke and Kansas City to hammer something out. The Royals should try to do so sooner rather than later, however, before another team potentially scoops him up.