It was announced today that Barry Zito has decided to stay in the Bay Area and will sign a staggering 7-year, $126 million dollar deal with the San Francisco Giants.
An amazing amount of cash for a pitcher so inconsistent as Zito.
He had a sensational year in 2002, his third in the majors with the A's. He was 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA and won the Cy Young Award. But in the four years since, he has reached 15 wins only once, and hasn't come anywhere close to that ERA. He is durable and eats innings, but certainly not for that kind of money.
Zito had a lot of things going for him. He was a free agent at just the right time, as the market is absolutely soaring for pitchers. Zito is also 28, left-handed and has Scott Boras as an agent.
I really didn't think Zito would sign before the new year. With the Randy Johnson trade rumors swirling around the Yankees, I thought Boras might try to lure them into a bidding war with the Mets, Rangers and Giants. But the fact that Zito made his choice now tells me the Yankees are running into problems dealing Johnson.
I also said at the end of the 2006 season that Zito would NOT land in New York. He's a West Coast guy, and I figured he would land in either Los Angeles or San Francisco.
God bless him for landing such a deal. I just don't think he's that good a pitcher to warrant that kind of contract.
We'll find out.