The Kansas City Royals have signed 38-year-old right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke to a one-year contract for $13 million.
Greinke began his career in Kansas City and played seven seasons with the Royals from 2004 to 2010 amassing 1108 innings and 931 strikeouts in 210 games. The strikeouts are eighth all-time in Royals history and Greinke is set to move farther up the list this season.
The Royals aren't expected to compete for the playoffs this season. However, with the new 12-team playoff format, they could make a run for the third wild card spot. This isn't a franchise-changing move by any means but will help the team in the short term.
Greinke very well might be the opening day starter in a rotation that had the tenth worst ERA in MLB last season. He is the highest-ranked Royals starting pitcher in the Fantasy Six Pack 2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings. Fantasy Baseball managers are drafting him at an ADP of 295 according to FantasyPros Consensus ADP.
Royals Sign Zack Greinke
2021 Season Review
Greinke's 2021 season with the Houston Astros had a night and day difference. The first half saw him start 8-3 with a 3.59 ERA and the fourth most innings. He did this by limiting walks and hard-hit balls, he ranked eighth in HardHit% and walk rate. He didn't strike a lot of batters out, but he wasn't walking them either.
The second half was a different story for Greinke. He missed a couple of starts in August due to illness and also in September due to neck soreness. His HardHit% rose to 39.2% and he allowed more walks while striking fewer batters out. On top of this, his batting average against also rose and he finished with a 3-3 record and 5.34 ERA.
Fantasy Baseball managers have doubted Greinke thus far in 2022 by dropping him down draft boards. At his current ADP Greinke can be a steal this season. He has recorded at least 200 innings in nine different seasons and was on pace in 2021 before missing a few games late in the year.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Impact
The Royals signing Greinke wasn't the biggest free agent this year, but there is always an impact on the Fantasy Baseball season from a signing.
Secondly, The Kansas City Royals will have to hold one of their top pitching prospects back. Daniel Lynch and Jackson Kowar could've made the big-league team as a starter but will have to move to the bullpen or stay in the minors for at least another year. However, if one of the other members of the Royals rotation struggles, then Kowar and Lynch might get their opportunity.
Lastly, this move helps Cristian Javier. Javier spent most of 2021 working out of the Houston Astros bullpen, now he will get his shot to join the rotation full time in his age 25 season. Javier's ADP is 292.4, just barely ahead of Greinke. Javier similar to Greinke can be a steal this late in Fantasy Baseball drafts.
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