Royals sign RHP Greinke to $13M contract for 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals signed six-time All-Star pitcher Zack Greinke to a $13 million contract for this season Wednesday, reuniting the right-hander with the club that drafted him in the first round two decades ago.

Greinke also can make up to $2 million in performance bonuses, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not disclosed.

The 38-year-old Greinke was the sixth overall pick of the Royals in the 2002 amateur draft, and he spent his first six seasons with the club, winning the Cy Young Award during his standout 2009 season. He was traded to the Brewers the following year for a package of players that formed the basis of the Royals’ back-to-back AL champion teams.

Greinke spent just over a season in Milwaukee before his he was traded to the Angels, then spent three seasons across town with the Dodgers, where he finished second in Cy Young voting in 2015. Greinke went on to pitch four seasons for the Diamondbacks before spending the past three seasons with the Astros.

He went 11-6 with a 4.16 ERA and one complete game in 29 starts for Houston last season.

Greinke has 219 wins over 18 years in the big leagues, seven behind Justin Verlander among active pitchers, and he needs just 191 strikeouts to reach 3,000 for his career. Greinke also is a six-time Gold Glove winner.

The Royals created space on the 40-man roster for him Wednesday by placing reliever Tyler Zuber on the 60-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement.

Greinke left the Royals as an up-and-coming star just hitting his prime years, and he returns to provide veteran leadership for a rotation that figures to be among the youngest in baseball. Brad Keller had been the elder statesman at 26 years old, while Brady Singer, Kris Bubic, Daniel Lynch, Carlos Hernandez and Jackson Kowar are even younger.

The move to sign Greinke came hours after the Royals traded left-hander Mike Minor to the Reds for reliever Amir Garrett on Wednesday. The Reds also would get $500,000 from the Royals if Minor’s mutual option for 2023 is declined.

Minor is due $10 million in the second year of an $18 million, two-year contract. The deal originally included a $13 million club option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout but a provision converts it to a mutual option because of the trade.

Garrett is eligible for arbitration and likely will have a salary in the $2 million range.

“I mean, my head was always it could be a possibility, you know?” said Garrett, who was picked by the Reds in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft. “I think moving forward they have to do what’s best for the organization and the club. There’s no hard feelings. These guys have been with me through it all. All I can say is thank you.”

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