So much for the idea that Zack Greinke was going to the Giants or Dodgers. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the star right-hander has agreed to terms with another NL West team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jon Heyman of CBS sports added that it’s a 6-year-deal.
This makes the Diamondbacks a better team. But unless they’ve got another big move or two in them this offseason, it doesn’t make them a better team than either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants.
- The Diamondbacks bullpen ERA in 2015 was 3.56, 13th in Major League Baseball.
- Their ERA for their starting rotation was 4.37, good enough for 23rd in baseball.
Obviously, Greinke will help the cause of the starting rotation, but that isn’t exactly what you’d call desirable rotation from one through five. As great as Greinke is, he doesn’t provide a big advantage over the aces of the Dodgers and Giants — Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner.
After Greinke in the rotation comes Patrick Corbin, followed by some combination of Rubby De La Rosa, Robbie Ray, and Chase Anderson, with Archie Bradley likely at least having a chance to take over from one of the latter three.
It’s not bad, but I can’t imagine a Diamondbacks fan feeling great about any combination of three of those pitchers going into a big series against Los Angeles or San Francisco, let alone teams like the Cardinals, Pirates, Nationals, Cubs, and Mets.
Even though the Arizona offense — led by all-world Paul Goldschmidt and a solid all-around player in A.J. Pollock — is solid and will score runs, the rotation needs to be improved with at least one more star.
Also, while Greinke’s career ERA in Arizona’s Chase Field is a respectable 3.34, he’ll be making a hitter’s yard his home for the only time in his career, excluding his brief run with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Now, if the Diamondbacks add another arm in the rotation and at least 1-2 quality bullpen pitchers, then they become legitimate threats in the NL West. Until then, while they’ve made themselves better and the three-time defending NL West Champs worse, the Diamondbacks are still a team that lacks the overall balance needed to be the division’s best.