Top Zack Greinke Quotes From Introductory Press Conference With Diamondbacks
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After officially signing Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million contract on Tuesday, the Arizona Diamondbacks held an introductory press conference for the 32 year old on Friday at Chase Field.

With over $60 million in deferred salaries part of Greinke’s contract, the value of his deal is just north of $190 million.

Greinke did however, set a new Major League Baseball record with a $34.4 million average annual value.

He stunned the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants by agreeing to terms with the Diamondbacks after Arizona made a late entry into the pursuit.

Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russ said Greinke was “the No. 1 guy on our list,” while general manager Dave Stewart offered insight into some of the Diamondbacks’ motivation to sign the right-hander when speaking at the Winter Meetings.

Always introspective and honest when interviewed, the 32-year-old Greinke was in usual form on Friday. Included below are highlights from his introductory news conference…

What was the attraction of Arizona and how difficult of a decision was it for you?

Zack Greinke: “It started around the All-Star break, or a little before the All-Star break last season. The Dodgers were playing Arizona and I was watching all their position players running around making all these great catches, taking extra bases like crazy against us. You look on the leaderboard and they had the best offense in the game. Scored the most runs, so I was like, ‘Dang, that’s a pretty impressive group of guys they got over there,’ and just realized it then. And then you looked at the pitching staff and they all were talented but they weren’t pitching very good at the time. I was just thinking, ‘Man, they have something going on there. Just need a couple things and they could be as good as anybody.’”

Were the Diamondbacks on your radar as being a realistic team to sign with?

“A lot of teams were a possibility, but then at one point we were just talking to two teams. When there are only two teams you’re talking to, you don’t think about other things. As soon as Casey [Close, Greinke’s agent] told me the Diamondbacks called, it got me excited. It happened pretty fast, but it was a team I had a lot of experience with and knew really well, so it wasn’t like I needed a bunch of extra time to get to know people or the city.”

How close were you to returning with the Dodgers before the Diamondbacks called?

“Without getting too detailed, we were minutes away from going to a different team. It was that close.”

What’s it like to sign a $206 million contract?

“I guess I just signed it, so I don’t really know. I don’t really think about it in those terms, to tell you the truth. I think about it as the team going into it, and I guess you do your job and whatever happens, it happens. … You just think about what you can control.”

Thoughts on Diamondbacks’ rotation?

“I probably have to get to know them and see them more. I’ve seen all of them throw, but you can’t really make a full decision on a person by just seeing them pitch twice. You have to know a lot more about the whole situation. [Rubby] De La Rosa has an amazing arm. The Dodgers actually hit him pretty well, but he was very impressive, just his stuff. [Patrick] Corbin was about as good as anyone two years ago before he got hurt. Archie Bradley, I think people know a lot about him. They have a couple of other younger guys and they traded for the [Robbie] Ray guy, and I think his arm is way better than I think anyone gave him credit for. Maybe I just didn’t know much about him. We’ve got Shelby Miller, too. There’s like seven guys who have All-Star potential, so just have to kind of put it together. Sometimes it takes a while. It took me three or four years before I even had a solid year.”

What kind of influence can you have on a young staff by leading by example?

“For me, I don’t know how much of it is leading by example. In Kansas City when we signed Gil Meche, who was a very solid pitcher, and in Kansas City my first three or four years there weren’t many solid pitchers around. When he came around just seeing a guy that has had some success just do it. It kind of changed the way my mind worked and made me think, ‘Oh, it’s not impossible.’ And playing with [Clayton] Kershaw, just seeing him do his thing all the time, I don’t know if it’s a leadership thing, but being able to visualize how the best one does it and maybe motivate you. I don’t know what it does. It’s helped me everywhere I’ve been. Even in Milwaukee, there were some guys who helped me. Just seeing people perform well makes things easier.”

Reaction to Shelby Miller trade and Diamondbacks’ ‘going-for-it-now’ mentality

“The media likes to throw out the term ‘going for it now’ a lot. The way I look at it, [Miller] has another three years [in Arizona], [Paul] Goldschmidt I think has four more, [A.J.] Pollock has three, and most of the guys have at least three years under control. It’s not so much a ‘now’ type thing. It’s a pretty good future for multiple years.”

Why do you think you stand a good chance to be productive through age 37?

“I don’t really know, I hope to. I’ll do what I can, but that’s all you can really do. You can look at trends of guys but mainly just do whatever you can. There’s no exact answer to it.”

How much did the Diamondbacks ranking as one of the top defensive teams factor into your decision?

“I view it more as what team is better. Not so much, ‘Oh, their defense is good.’ I viewed it more as just their team being good, and I factored that in a lot.”

Thoughts on Diamondbacks new jerseys?

“I don’t know. I don’t pay really attention to that stuff.”

What do you enjoy most about being in Arizona?

“There’s a lot of really nice things around here to see and do. The times I’m here [Spring Training] the weather is amazing. So, we’ll see about summer weather. I guess not an exciting comment, but I think the sunsets here are fantastic.”

Would discussing a contract extension with the Dodgers during the 2015 season been a distraction, and would you have entertained them if they had?

“I guess that’s not really a question I want to answer. It’s not the time also.”