#1 Zack Greinke – $31.00 Million in 2018 ($34,416,666 Million AAV)
It takes 561 muscles in the human face to frown and only one to smile, or something like that. Anyway, to Zack Greinke, scowling just comes naturally. Prepared to sign a multiyear deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015, Zack suddenly jumped ship and signed with Arizona, the highest bidder.
As a matter of fact, Greinke’s contract of 6 years at $206.5 million total with the Diamondbacks has put him in a select group. From the day he signed it up until now, there is only one MLB player averaging over $31 million per year: Zack Greinke.
Only 31 and capable of being the anchor of Arizona’s pitching staff for years to come, Zack Greinke is easily the highest paid D-back. His $34,416,666 AAV dwarfs Clayton Kershaw’s average pay per year of $30,714,286 – a record for a pitcher at the time Greinke signed – and will likely hold up as the highest annual average for any player until next year when Bryce Harper (and probably Kershaw) will take free agent contract paydays to a whole new level.
With improved governance, the Arizona Diamondbacks have returned to respectability. Bouncing back after a down year, they finished last year with a Wild Card playoff berth on the heels a breakout season that represented a glimpse of their young core’s potential. The D-backs front office will be busy as they find a way to keep this group together in Arizona for as long as possible.