After facing a pair of American League opponents through their first two Cactus League games, the Los Angeles Dodgers get their first look at the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday at Camelback Ranch.
Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw aren’t pitted against one another, but Shelby Miller and Kenta Maeda make for an intriguing matchup in their respective debuts with a new team. For Maeda, it’s his first time in a Major League game after spending the past eight seasons in Japan.
Saturday’s game is the first of just two the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will face each other in. They’ll square off 19 times during the regular season, including April 12 for the Dodgers’ home opener.
It’s safe to assume the stars will align at some point in 2016, placing Greinke on the mound to pitch against the team he was with from 2013-15.
A noted baseball savant, Greinke admitted to keeping track of the Dodgers after his Diamondbacks debut on Friday, via Jack Magruder of Today’s Knuckleball:
“A little bit, but probably about the same or less than most of you guys,” he said.
Following the 2015 season, Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million on his deal with the Dodgers. He then predictably rejected the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.
The Dodgers were believed to be in a bidding war for Greinke with the San Francisco Giants, only to be stunned by Arizona’s late and furious pursuit. Greinke’s six-year, $206.5 million contract set a new record for highest average annual value in Major League Baseball history at $34.42 million.
Greinke’s contract does include over $60 million in deferred salaries. In three seasons with the Dodgers, Greinke went 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA. He was an impressive 6-0 with a 0.69 ERA, 41 strikeouts and seven walks over six starts (41.1 innings) at Chase Field during that same time frame.