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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

What to Do With Barry Zito?

Well, the Cactus League is well underway, and during this spring, the first following World Series win in San Francisco history, the guy who's getting all the attention early on is a guy who wasn't even on the post-season roster last year.

Everybody is asking for $126 million man Barry Zito to take a hike, and a lot of fans don't really care what or who the Giants would get in return, they just want him out. I understand it and can see where they're coming from, but let's get real here. If the Giants could deal Barry Zito, they'd jump at the opportunity to do so, it's not like they're hanging on to him because they want to, they're stuck with him. Which GM in his right mind is going to take on a player with 3 years left on a deal that pays him $55 million while that player's compiled a 29-44 record, a 4.44 era and a 1.47 WHIP while averaging about 185 innings pitched over the last 3 seasons. That win-loss record and the WHIP are both numbers that jump out at you right away and a big reason for those numbers was that horrible 2008 season. However, if you take away '08, his numbers in San Francisco aren't nearly as dreadful, but the simple fact is that he makes $17 million annually, and he's not worth that. He's not even worth 1/4 of that and everybody knows that. If Giants fans are aware of that, then you can bet that every GM and team executive knows it too. So who's gonna take him?

In any Barry Zito trade scenario, the Giants would undoubtedly need to eat his remaining the remaining $50+ million they owe him over the next 3 seasons. A lot of fans think it'd be addition by subtraction, but I'm not so sure. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for the Giants to trade Barry Zito, but to just give him away and still have to pay him doesn't sound so desirable. No matter what, they are going to have to pay him, so right now, they're best bet is to hang on to him, hope they catch lightening in a bottle and he turns himself back into a formidable pitcher. Heck, look what Burrell did in 2010! Then maybe they can deal him without having to eat nearly as much money as they would if they dealt him now. Not only that, but who on the Giants 40-man roster would you pick to take Zito's place if the Giants did cut him loose? Jeff Suppan isn't an upgrade, probably a downgrade, even though he looked better than Zito did the other day. Or they could try a young guy like Clayton Tanner or Henry Sosa, but I don't think either of those guys are close to being ready to pitch every fifth day in the big leagues. I've always liked Tanner, and think of him as a Noah Lowry type, but looking at his strikeout numbers in the minors makes me think he'll get hit too hard up in the bigs.

If your thinking about the teams #2 prospect Zach Wheeler, he's only 20 years old and has thrown just 58 innings in the minors. I wouldn't count on seeing Wheeler in San Francisco until at least a September of next year. I think he'll take longer than Cain, Lincecum and Bumgarner and all those guys were in the minors for at least 2 seasons, while Wheeler has just half a pro season under his belt. The Giants didn't even bring him to the big league camp yet, which shows you just how far off they think he is.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Julio said…

    What the $#!#? I didn't even know the Giants had Jeff Suppan, and there he is in a Giants uni? LOL, so typical Brian Sabean, add a player about 5 years after their prime.


  • At 11:03 AM, Blogger zach said…

    I might have to eat my words later...but I think Sabean should find a way to move Rowand and Zito. Rowand is a great clubhouse guy, but we need a hitter not a cheerleader!!

  • At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Joe Machuta said…

    Actually, with the way things are looking this spring... with the Giants hot bats... eight threats in the lineup with more threats on the bench ... Zito may win a few more


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