Zack Greinke comes full circle with a return to the Royals

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Zack Greinke is a free agent no more after signing a one-year deal to return to the Kansas City Royals, where he started his career.

The tail end of Zack Greinke’s career as a major league pitcher is bringing him back to where it all began.

On Wednesday, the 38-year-old righty agreed to a one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Assuming he passes his physical, Greinke will be back in Kansas City for a second stint over a decade since he spent his first seven seasons with the team.

Zack Greinke contract details: Pitcher returns to Royals

Greinke’s deal is for one year and worth $13 million, per Mark Feinsand of That’s a slight pay bump from his deal with the Astros which gave him $12.5 million per year, according to Spotrac.

However, Feinsand’s sources suggest up to $2 million of the $13 will come down to performance bonuses.

Greinke has a solid year with Houston last year, going 11-6 with an ERA of 4.16. He was able to pitch 30 games.

The Cy Young winner and six-time All-Star may not be at the peak of his powers at this point, but he can come in and help a team like the Royals with his veteran arm.

Kansas City selected Greinke with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2002 MLB Draft. He quickly moved up the ranks and made his debut in 2004. Life wasn’t easy for the pitcher early in his career. He had 17 losses in 2005 while maintaining an ERA of 5.8. He struggled with mental health concerns in 2006 and had to take time away from baseball.

Patience and care ultimately paid off for the Royals and Greinke. In 2008 he had his first winning season at 13-10 and by 2009 he was a Cy Young Winner and All-Star.

The Royals didn’t get the best of Greinke’s career though. He was traded to the Brewers who traded him to the Angels. He landed with the Dodgers as a free agent and went on to command five more All-Star nods in the next seven seasons with LA, Arizona and Houston.

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