I don’t know about you but to me it seems like it’s been about a decade since Barry Zito signed his ridiculous seven-year, $126 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. Turns out that after this season, Zito still has two years and $46 million remaining on that deal. And as of right now, the Giants have no plans to cut the virtually useless lefty loose.
Larry Baer will take over for Bill Neukom as the CEO of the Giants in January, and he has hinted that the team will likely keep Zito on the roster next season. That news comes despite the fact that manager Bruce Bochy said earlier this month that Zito was not guaranteed a roster spot even with his inflated salary.
This year Zito has made nine starts and pitched 49.2 innings. He is currently 3-4 with a 5.62 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He has also allowed nine home runs, and surrendered 20 walks while striking out just 28 batters.
In his five years in San Francisco Zito is 43-61 with a 4.52 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Yeah, for a guy who has made $80 million in that span, that’s just ridiculously awful.
I know that if the Giants just cut Zito outright they’d still owe him that $46 million, but he’s basically become a joke on the roster. They’re going to have to pay him either way and I guess they figure they should try and get something out of him, but it’s hard to argue that he’s the best option for that roster spot.
The Giants have a deep starting rotation, and next season Zito would – at best – be fighting for the No. 5 spot behind Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and Madison Bumgarner in. Zito is scheduled to make $19 million in 2012, $20 million in 2013 and has a mercifully has $7 million buyout for 2014.
Honestly, it might be best for all parties involved if the Giants just released the 33-year-old and started the healing process over one of the worst contracts in baseball history.