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Greinke Set to Return to KC on 1-year Deal (Source)


By Andrew Simon,


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Zack Greinke and the Royals have agreed to a one-year deal that will keep the veteran right-hander in Kansas City for his age-39 season, a source told’s Anne Rogers on Monday. The club has not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical and was first reported by Kansas City sports radio host Bob Fescoe.

A source told’s Mark Feinsand that the deal is expected to be between $8-$10 million plus performance bonuses.

Greinke, who will turn 40 in October, is heading into his 20th Major League season since debuting with the Royals as a 20-year-old in 2004. Over that time, he has built an extensive resume that ultimately could push him toward the Hall of Fame, while also suiting up for the Brewers, Angels, Dodgers, D-backs and Astros.

Among active pitchers, Greinke ended the 2022 season ranked first in starts (514), first in innings (3,247), second in wins (223, behind only Justin Verlander) and third in strikeouts (2,882). His 76.4 total wins above replacement (WAR), per Baseball-Reference, places him third among players who remain active, behind only Mike Trout and Verlander.

Greinke is also a six-time All-Star, six-time Gold Glove Award winner and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner. He won the 2009 AL Cy Young Award with the Royals and logged two other top-five finishes on the NL side.

Of course, Greinke is no longer the pitcher he once was. In 2022, he ranked in the fourth percentile among MLB pitchers in fastball velocity (just over 89 mph). Among 140 pitchers who threw at least 100 innings, nobody had a lower strikeout rate than Greinke (12.5%), although he also tied for the 12th-lowest walk rate (4.6%).

Despite that, Greinke remained effective after returning to the Royals — for the first time since 2010 — on a one-year, $13 million contract. He allowed two earned runs or fewer in 17 of his 26 starts, posting a 3.68 ERA and above-average 111 ERA+ overall. (However, he did serve two short stints on the injured list with a right flexor strain and right forearm tightness). Greinke also earned praise for his veteran presence in a Royals rotation in which every other member was 26 or younger.