The Royals have signed free agent pitcher Zack Grienke to a one-year deal for $13 million, according to Jon Heyman. Greinke was the sixth overall pick by the Royals in the 2002 draft and spent seven years with the Royals, winning the 2009 Cy Young Award. The 38-year-old posted a 4.16 ERA with 120 strikeouts in 171 innings for the Astros last season. In 18 seasons, he has won 219 games with a 3.41 ERA, is a six-time All-Star, a six-time Gold Glover, and has won the ERA title twice.
Greinke’s best season in Kansas City came in 2009, when he led the league with a 2.16 ERA with 242 strikeouts in 229 1⁄3 innings, becoming the third Royals pitcher to win a Cy Young Award. After the 2010 season, he asked for a trade to a contender, and the Royals sent him to Milwaukee with shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt for shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain, and pitchers Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress.
Earlier today, the Royals shipped pitcher Mike Minor to the Reds for pitcher Amir Garrett, saving them about $8 million in salary. Greinke will pitch in a rotation that will likely include Brady Singer and Brad Keller, with Kris Bubic, Carlos Hernandez, Daniel Lynch, and Jackson Kowar vying for a spot. The Royals are also rumored to be interested in trading for Oakland pitcher Frankie Montas, although the Greinke signing may have ended that pursuit.