Thread: Barry Zito
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:14 PM   #9
Obi-Wan Phillips
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Keep Calm and Chive on

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Nakatomi Plaza
Posts: 23,370


Some stuff from Keith Law on ESPN INsider -

If you're going to hand out the largest contract ever given to a pitcher, it probably should be to one of the best starting pitchers in the game, right? Seems like Baseball 101.

The Giants missed that memo.

Sure, Barry Zito is a good fit in San Francisco's big, pitcher-friendly ballpark, and in the short term he pushes the Giants to fringe-contender status. But from the club's perspective, this is one of the worst contracts ever signed, for its length, for its annual salary and for the entire misguided notion that Zito is this good a pitcher. He's been the beneficiary of a favorable ballpark with lots of foul territory, a favorable schedule, great bullpen support and outstanding outfield defense -- and he's not going to receive either the defense or the relief help in San Francisco.

The contract boggles the mind for a number of reasons:

Why would anyone give seven or more years to a starting pitcher? Because Kevin Brown and Mike Hampton worked out so well?

Why would anyone give such a long contract to a pitcher whose fastball has already shown signs of deterioration, and who just posted the second-worst strikeout rate of his career?

How did Barry Zito, who nearly led the AL in walks last season, end up with the reputation of one of the best pitchers in baseball? Because he won a Cy Young five years ago -- one that probably should have gone to Pedro Martinez?

The Giants might get a great year or two at some point in this deal, but on the whole, it's going to be an albatross around the neck of the successor to GM Brian Sabean. This club has been on the edge of the precipice for years now, with the worst farm system in baseball and one of the oldest rosters in the majors, and committing long-term to a guy who at best is a No. 3 starter on a contender is madness.
Zito is grossly overrated, and this signing is really gonna bite the Giants in the ass. And I ****ing love it. Giant fans can bite me.

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