Seven Free Agent Signings That Will Impact Playoff Races in 2016

Source: Ralph Freso/Getty Images North America

Source: Ralph Freso/Getty Images North America

Number 2: Starting pitcher Zack Greinke

In what easily qualifies as the most shocking signing of the offseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks swooped in unexpectedly and convinced ace Zack Greinke to come to the desert. Six years and $206 million later, Greinke went from pitching in Dodger Stadium and living in Los Angeles to pitching at Chase Field and living in Phoenix.

Greinke’s contract is the fourth-largest in MLB history given to a pitcher, and by far the most money the D-Backs have signed a player for.

If anybody wonders why most experts think the N.L. West will be more competitive in 2016, look no futher than this signing as the reason why that discussion is being had in the first place.

From the Diamondbacks’ perspective the impact of this signing is obvious: it puts them on the national baseball map. Experts in the national media view this team because of this signing as one of the big winners of the offseason, and rightfully so.

Thanks to this signing the N.L. West will without a doubt be a three-team dogfight that will probably come down to at least the last month and a half of the season.

This signing single-handedly changes the playoff race. While the Dodgers still have the best pitcher of my generation in Clayton Kershaw and the deepest rotation from top to bottom in the division, and the Giants added Cueto and Samardzija, the fact that the D-Backs took Greinke from their biggest rivals will have an impact.

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