Barry Zito Was Not a Good Free-Agent Signing

In honor of the AL Cy Young Award winner – Cliff Lee – I thought I’d create a little graph:

 

Oh, that tantalizing question mark. You can see that the trend – a trend that’s completely impervious to sample-size challenges or any other brand of cynicism – demonstrates that there will almost certainly be two LHSWWCCJOSBWTCYs next season. Could Barry Zito be one of them? Only time will tell.

This is the first offseason that Zito’s ridiculous contract is really, really killing me. Every question about premium free agents has the same answer:

Q: Say, should the Giants sign (large pitcher/good hitter)?

A: That would have been a great idea…if it didn’t mean that the Giants would then have to commit about 50% of their payroll to (large pitcher/good hitter) and Barry Zito, which would leave very little for the other 23 players on the team.

The Giants already have their premium free agent. It’s Barry Zito. They’ve chosen. That choice is Barry Zito. Heck, let’s all revisit the initial reaction to the signing. If you take out a magnifying glass and really dig through the text, you might be able to spot one of the 2,203 wrong predictions I made in the main post.

So now I’m in a Zito depression. I don’t really think that any pitcher, CC Sabathia included, is worth long-term, $125M+ deal...but, dang, it would be exciting to have Sabathia at the top of this rotation. Paying a first baseman $125M to stick around into his mid-30s is probably a bad idea…but, dang, it would be exciting to have Mark Teixeira for a few years.

Zito has $91.5M and five years left on his contract. This doesn’t include the bonus clauses, of course – he wins $.5M for his first Cy Young under this contract, $.75M for his second, and a cool $1M for every one thereafter.

Comment starter: How much of this damnable contract would the Giants need to eat in order to get Zito the hell out of here? Would it be worth it? The 2007 Zito, while disappointing, wasn’t exactly worthless. He would have been worth a three-year deal or so.

Open Zito Depression Thread.

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