Ask around and you’ll undeniably find more times than not the San Francisco Giants are viewed as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rival.
Others may view the St. Louis Cardinals in that same vein given their recent postseason history.
And some imaginably distinguish the Arizona Diamondbacks as such, specifically tied to the 2013 brawl, and fuss caused by the Dodgers’ National League West division celebration that spilled into the Chase Field pool that same season.
Arizona may now have thrown down the gauntlet however, with the signing of Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million contract.
Greinke’s deal translates to an average annual value of $34.42 million, which sets a new Major League Baseball record. Prior to his agreeing with the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers and Giants were said to be in a bidding war.
Arizona sent shockwaves throughout the league by striking a deal with the 32 year old after only a few hours of their reported pursuit. According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart said taking Greinke from the Dodgers influenced their chase:
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) December 9, 2015
Along with Greinke holding the honor of having the highest average annual salary, his contract is the richest handed out by the Diamondbacks organization.
The previous high was a six-year, $68.5 million deal given to Yasmany Tomas last offseason. One day after Greinke officially signed, the D-Backs added to their successful offseason by completing a trade with the Atlanta Braves for Shelby Miller.
However, in doing so Arizona parted with shortstop prospect Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitching prospect Aaron Blair. The Diamondbacks also received Minor League pitcher Gabe Speier.
Greinke was 51-15 with a 2.30 ERA over the past three seasons with the Dodgers. He’s coming off a career year in which he led the Majors in ERA (1.66), ERA+ (225) and WHIP (0.84).
The first meeting of the 2016 season between the Diamondbacks and Dodgers is April 12. The game is the Dodgers’ eighth of the season, but their first at home.