Dodgers now clear NL West favorite 

December, 9, 2012

GreinkeJohn Cordes/Icon SMIZack Greinke will be the Dodgers' No. 2 starter behind Clayton Kershaw.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' spending spree, which may only be interrupted by the heat death of the universe, continued in huge fashion this weekend with their reported agreement with free-agent starter Zack Greinke and signing of Korean lefty Hyun-jin Ryu, whom they had won negotiating rights to via the posting system. Greinke gives them one of the best nominal No. 2 starters in the game, an ace in most rotations, while Ryu will join the back of the team's rotation but could eventually end up in the 'pen.

Greinke was the top free-agent starter available this offseason and his reported six-year, $147 million contract -- now the highest ever for a right-hander -- was probably driven up by three other factors. One, the Dodgers are operating their own currency system independent of the U.S. Treasury, inspired no doubt by my great-great-great-uncle John. Two, Greinke was far and away the best starter available in free agency this year, the only one with even the potential to post a 6-WAR season. If you wanted an ace, it was Greinke or bust, with the next group of arms all looking more like good mid-rotation guys. Three, perhaps most importantly of all, baseball teams are swimming in cash, with no place else to put it but into the major league roster.