You’ll have to excuse me if I seem late on the Barry Zito news. I’ve been traveling New Jersey for the last 4-5 days and was without computer access. Before I left on my trip the Giants were a small contender in the Barry Zito sweepstakes but when I returned the Giants had already signed Zito to a enormous 7 year 126 million dollar contract. The deal for Zito has left me in a philosophical state of confusion. Should I or shouldn’t I be happy about this? Zito wears those cool high socks, check one for positive, but 7 year deals to pitchers hardly ever seem like a good idea, check one for negative.
Future be damned you have to like the Giants rotation better with Zito than without for the next few years. That seems like a stupid thing to say but Zito really adds some stability to the front of the Giants rotation all while wearing those cool high socks. A rotation of Zito, Cain, and Lincecum is what dreams are made of. But there is a huge risk to signing a pitcher to a long term 7 year deal. When you think about big contracts given to pitchers you can’t help but have ideas of Mike Hampton creep into your consciousness (Just ignore the fact that Zito’s #1 comparable pitcher by age is Mike Hampton, gulp).
Zito should do well in the early portions of this deal. Going from the AL to the lighter hitting NL will help Zitos stats some. Zito’s peripherals have slid some in recent in years and in 2006 Zito posted his highest WHIP. From 2001 to 2006 Zito’s VORP has been 51.2, 75.3, 56.1, 32.5, 41.1, and 49.9. Zito has averaged a 51.02 VORP since 2001, if you take out his Cy Young year it drops to 46.16. The Giants are hoping that they’ll get the Zito that averages around a 51 VORP per year and not the 2004 and 2005 version of Zito that put up VORP’s of 32.5 and 41.1. In comparison, in 2005 Noah Lowry had a VORP of 36.5.
In the end I can say “Its not my money” and like the signing but the later years of the deal have the possibility to be real ugly. I am talking Marvin Bernard in a dress ugly. And even though it has no affect on Zito, the other 2 of Oakland’s Big Three haven’t exactly had the same success since they left the A’s. Welcome to the Giants Barry and I hope you enjoy your mountain of cash.
- Mando going back to Florida? Benitez has told teammates that he wants to return to the Marlins. Shockingly enough, the Marlins seem warm to the idea of bring back Benitez, even offering to kick in a million or two of his remaining contract to reacquire him. The current rumor is that the Marlins are open to sending Yusmeiro Petit to the Giants in a trade involving Benitez. I would love such a trade if it were to happen. Petit has constantly put up great to good numbers in the minor leagues but many aren’t sold on him as a major leaguer because of his stuff and the fact that he relies on deception to get hitters out. Still, you can’t argue with the numbers he’s put up in the minors. Even though he struggled in short stint last year with the Marlins he is still very young at 21 and could battle whatever scrubs Sabean brings in for the 5th spot in the rotation. Its a high reward move that makes some sense for the Giants.