Zack Greinke became a lot richer this offseason. The Dodgers may be getting a lot richer starting in 2014, with the launch of a new regional sports network that could increase their annual local TV earnings from $40 million to $280 million.
Some of those future earnings were used to lure Greinke away from the Angels with a $147 million contract that makes him the highest-paid pitcher in the game on an average annual basis.
What's in store for Greinke? Over the past three seasons, as you may know by now, Greinke's actual ERAs have failed to match the ERA suggested by his peripherals in the Fielding Independent Pitching statistic:
2010: 4.17 ERA, 3.34 FIP
2011: 3.83 ERA, 2.98 FIP
2012: 3.48 ERA, 3.10 FIP
Some of that was caused by poor defense in Milwaukee, some by bad luck, some by Greinke not pitching as well with runners on base.
His defense may not improve behind him with the Dodgers. With Hanley Ramirez scheduled to play shortstop, he's one liability; Ramirez has minus-39 Defensive Runs Saved at shortstop over the past three seasons, in what amounts to about two full seasons of playing time. Matt Kemp, despite his two Gold Glove Awards, has never rated well defensively (by either DRS or Ultimate Zone Rating), his occasional spectacular play masked by misreads and bad jumps. Carl Crawford was a Gold Glove left fielder with the Rays, but hasn't rated well the past two seasons and he's coming off Tommy John surgery, making his arm a big question mark.
On the other hand, Greinke moves back to the National League after a couple months with the Angels and into a better pitcher's park than Milwaukee. He'll also get a few extra starts in San Francisco and San Diego, two other good pitcher's parks.
Most projections have Greinke's ERA around 3.25 to 3.50. He was at 3.44 with the Brewers last year before his trade to the Angels. I'm going to set the over/under at 3.30.