Snakes on a (Money) Train! Diamondbacks Sign Former Pool Invader Zach Grienke
December 5 / Geoff Magliocchetti / SportsGrid
Over the past four seasons, the Arizona Diamondbacks have seen more teams celebrate in their right field swimming pool than they have, as the Los Angeles Dodgers infamously made the swimming hole party central when they clinched the 2013 NL West title, while Arizona has failed to put up a mere winning season.
However, the lifeguard isn't forcing everyone out of the pool, as one integral piece of that team is the newest Diamondback.
The Phoenix-based baseball franchise signed SP Zack Grienke to a 6 year deal worth $206 million, stealing the 2009 Cy Young Award winner from division rival Los Angeles. Worth approximately $34 million per year, Grienke's monster deal comes days after the Boston Red Sox signed David Price to a 7 year, $217 million contract. Unlike Price, Grienke does not have an opt-out clause in his new deal, keeping him Phoenix for the next six years.
With the signing, Grienke's time with the Dodgers concludes with a whopping 51-15 record over 3 years, posting a 2.33 ERA in that span. 2015 was a banner year for the Orlando, Florida native, as he posted a 19-3 mark with a minuscule 1.66 ERA to boot. It earned Grienke the start for the National League in the 2015 All-Star Game, and had it not been for Jake Arrieta, Grienke would've won his second Cy Young.
However, Grienke's tenure with LA ended anything short of California dreamin'. Chosen to keep LA's season alive in a do-or-die Game 5 against the New York Mets in the National League Division Series, Grienke let up three earned runs over 6.2 innings, taking the deadly L in a 3-2 New York victory. Shortly after, Grienke opted out of the remaining three years of his contract with the Dodgers, hitting the free agent market.
Grienke is a welcome addition to the Arizona mound. Last season, the Diamondbacks ranked 16th in team ERA (4.04), 19th in total strikeouts (1258), and 20th in opponent batting average (.258). The Diamondbacks finished the year at 79-83, 3rd in the NL West. Arizona has not made the playoffs since 2011, ironically taking on Grienke, who at the time was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, in the NLDS, a 3-2 Milwaukee win. Arizona has not won a playoff series since the 2007 NLDS.
The Diamondbacks will start their 2016 season on April 4 at home against the Colorado Rockies. Just over a week later, they will travel to Dodger Stadium for what's now sure to be a highly anticipated three game set with the Dodgers.
As a Yankee fan, Geoff Magliocchetti still has nightmares of the 2001 Diamondbacks' pitching. Relive his nightmares on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.
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