According to Ken Rosenthal, the Padres will be involved in the Barry Zito sweepstakes this winter. Other interested parties include the Mets and Dodgers. The Padres will free up a significant amount of cash with Chan Ho Park and Ryan Klesko coming off the books.
Park is actually the one Padre who retains Scott Boras as his agent, so perhaps that will serve as a cautionary tale for Kevin Towers and Co. Zito has actually been fairly mediocre this year:
2006 League Averages for Pitchers:
AL: 4.53 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 3.18 BB/9, 6.41 K/9, 1.13 HR/9, 9.49 H/9
NL: 4.50 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 3.38 BB/9, 6.64 K/9, 1.11 HR/9, 9.27 H/9
3.79 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 3.93 BB/9, 6.20 K/9, 1.11 HR/9, 8.41 H/9
Based on those peripherals, Zito actually deserves a 4.38 ERA according to Component ERA. I’m not knocking Zito – there’s something to be said for that kind of consistency. It’s just that Zito’s no ace. He’d actually fit quite well in San Diego, where Jake Peavy can where the ace label well if healthy. Ditto for Chicago, where Carlos Zambrano is top dog.