Starting Pitcher Preseason Power Rankings

2. Zack Greinke

Source: Ralph Freso/Getty Images North America

Source: Ralph Freso/Getty Images North America

He may not have a seven-year deal with Boston like Price, but Zack Greinke got quite a payday this offseason when he signed with Arizona for six years and $206.5 million. The change in scenery from Kansas City and Milwaukee seemed to be beneficial for the tenured starter. Greinke’s ERA in Los Angeles was sub-3.00 each of the three seasons he pitched for the Dodgers.

The question to pose here is: was his success linked to the Dodgers and catcher Yasmani Grandal, who caught 26 of Greinke’s 32 starts last season? Greinke has improved both his ERA and his WHIP each of the past five seasons, and last year his 1.66 ERA was the best in baseball since Greg Maddux posted a 1.63 ERA in 1995.

That 1995 performance was a follow-up season to Maddux’s 1994 season, when he had a 1.56 ERA in his second year in Atlanta at age 28, after leaving the Chicago Cubs. His record in 1995? 19-2, just half a game better than Greinke’s 19-3 effort last year. While Greinke may not repeat his brilliant 2015, he is pretty close to a lock to reach 150 career wins; he is currently at 142 and the last season he did not reach double-digit victories was 2007 when he started only 14 games for the Kansas City Royals.

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