Salvador Perez was more than happy to endorse Zack Greinke this offseason.
The 39-year-old starter returned to the Royals this offseason after hitting free agency. He signed a one-year deal last season with Kansas City, the team he came up with, after his run with the Astros. At this point Greinke is past his prime, but he still can be an effective pitcher -- and his experience and work ethic is something beneficial for the Royals’ young hurlers to witness.
A return to Kansas City for Greinke felt likely much of the offseason. At some point when the Royals were assessing the reunion, general manager JJ Picollo reached out to Perez for his thoughts.
"(Greinke's leadership) was secondary, because we wouldn’t have spent the money on a player if we didn’t think he could be an effective pitcher," Picollo told "Cody and Gold" Tuesday on Radio Row at the Super Bowl. "So, his talent is still the primary reason we signed him. But secondarily, you watched how our pitchers just sort of were in awe of him.
"When you talk to a guy like Salvy, who has caught so many good pitchers and (ask) 'Hey Salvy, should we bring Zack back?' (He responded) 'Absolutely, he's the most prepared guy I've ever been around.' And there's a lot to be said about that, because we do still have a youthful pitching staff."
Picollo added that bringing back Greinke, while also adding veteran arms like Jordan Lyles and Ryan Yarborough, was done in an effort to get deeper in the starting rotation in an effort to ease the burden on their young starters.
Greinke went 4-9 last season with a 3.68 ERA. He made 26 starts, giving the Royals 137 innings of work. He's a mid-to-back-end starter nowadays, but it’s clear the impact he has on the Royals’ young pitchers is something the Royals consider valuable.
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