NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When Tony La Russa showed up for work last Friday morning, the D-backs' chief baseball officer had no idea the day would end with the club agreeing to terms with free-agent pitcher Zack Greinke on the largest deal in franchise history.
La Russa was in a meeting with manager Chip Hale and the coaching staff when he got a call.
"The farthest thing from our mind was that we would get a phone call that said [managing general partner] Ken [Kendrick] had been working and figured a way to make an approach," La Russa said. "Ken came up and said, 'Hey, if we're going to get in there, this is the money that should get their attention, maybe get him to be a Diamondback, and this is the term.' So I would say it was a great, wonderful shock. I just didn't see it coming."
With the bidding between the Dodgers and Giants believed to be coming down to the wire, La Russa then placed a call to Greinke's agent, Casey Close, to see if there was still time for the D-backs to get involved.
"I said, 'Look, we have a serious offer to make,'" La Russa told Close. "He said, 'Yeah, he'd like to listen to the Diamondbacks.'"
D-backs team president and CEO Derrick Hall, who had worked with Kendrick on the finances of the deal, was the one who called and presented the offer.
By the early evening hours in Arizona, the D-backs had a deal with Greinke for six years and $206.5 million. The deal is pending a physical, which was conducted Monday. An official announcement is expected Tuesday.
"We brought him here because he's the front-end guy you want with your ballclub," D-backs GM Dave Stewart said. "You want him to do a lot of things that he's capable of doing. One, he serves as an example and a mentor to the other guys in our rotation. Two, he will be a stopper for us -- stop losing streaks. He's here for six years, which our team is a very, very young team and that gives us a little bit of longevity moving forward."
While the Dodgers apparently were not willing to give Greinke a sixth year, the D-backs believe that given Greinke's pitching style, that sixth year should not be a problem.
"His delivery is smooth," Stewart said. "He can turn it up. He can pitch at 94, 95, 96 [mph] if he wants to, but he chooses to pitch at 92, 93 and make pitches. This is a guy that's a pitcher, and when you have the ability to dial it up, make pitches to control the game like he does, it doesn't scare you in the sixth year, I guess is the best way to put it."