Barry Zito Rumors

NL West Notes: Giants, Dipoto, Zito, Rockies

Let's take a look at a few items out of the NL West..

  • This winter, the Giants will have 13 players eligible for salary arbitration and seven players hitting free agency.  Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle peered into his crystal ball to predict which players would return to the club in 2012.
  • Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports gives credit to Diamondbacks exec Jerry Dipoto for his role in the club's success.  The former interim general manager could have looked for another GM gig after the position was given to Kevin Towers last year, but he instead chose to be a company man.  Recently, Tim Dierkes spoke to Dipoto about his career in baseball and his future aspirations.
  • If all goes well, it looks like Giants pitcher Barry Zito will soon be activated and will get the chance to show the club where he stands, tweets Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News.  Recently, Giants skipper Bruce Bochy admitted that he wasn't sure where the lefty fits into the team's long-term plans.
  • Given their other needs, Troy Renck of The Denver Post (via Twitter) expects the Rockies to wait another year to address their first base situation.

Giants Notes: Pill, Zito, Bumgarner

Earlier this evening, first baseman Brett Pill became the first Giants player to homer in his first MLB at bat since Will Clark arrived on the scene 25 years ago. Here are today’s Giants-related links… 

  • Giants manager Bruce Bochy told’s Chris Haft that he isn't sure where Barry Zito fits into the team's long-term plans. Zito, who has pitched 49 2/3 innings of 5.62 ERA ball this year, has $46MM remaining on his contract after 2011.
  • Eno Sarris of FanGraphs discusses Madison Bumgarner's transition from rookie to frontline starter. The 22-year-old left-hander has a 3.37 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 this season. 
  • GM Brian Sabean has said that the Giants could look to win and develop talent at the same time if it gets ugly for the team in September, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. San Francisco trails Arizona by 7.0 games.

Quick Hits: Zito, Rangers, Morgan, Angels

Links for Thursday night..

Quick Hits: Zito, Orioles, Meyer, Cardinals

Links for Sunday, as Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler become the first set of teammates in MLB history to homer in each of their team's first three games…

Olney On Zito, Brown, Jeter, Reyes

As's Buster Olney points out, the Giants would have to have a legitimate alternative in place before dumping Barry Zito and the $64.5MM remaining on his salary. If Jeff Suppan earns a rotation spot or someone else pitches unexpectedly well, the Giants could consider releasing Zito, but until then they can use the durable left-hander. Here's more on the Giants and other notes from Olney:

  • Olney says now is the time for the Giants to dump Zito if they're ever going to do it. The Giants are coming off of a World Series title, so Olney argues that they're working from a position of credibility. They aren't likely to cut Zito, however.
  • As Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes, manager Bruce Bochy says Zito is the team's fourth starter and GM Brian Sabean says the team isn't frustrated with him.
  • One talent evaluator says "the athleticism has been taken out" of Domonic Brown's swing.
  • Derek Jeter's relationship with the Yankees will be defined by the team's perception of what's required to win, writes Olney. The team will likely be willing to put Jeter at the bottom of the order or switch him to another position if his performance declines. 
  • It's for that reason that Jose Reyes could become a solution for the Yankees when he hits free agency after the season.

NL West Notes: Zito, Byrnes, Kershaw, Roberts

There's a lot going on in Giants camp and their division rivals are making headlines, too. Here's the latest…

  • Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote today that Barry Zito is "walking a thin line" within the organization and that there's "exasperation" with Zito. Jenkins reported that Zito doesn't have a guaranteed rotation spot and wrote that Zito would not be wearing a Giants uniform by 2013, the last guaranteed year on his contract.
  • As Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports, Zito was stunned by the report. Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the left-hander that the Chronicle report was the first he'd heard of the team's frustration. Zito walked five of the 13 hitters he faced in his spring debut.
  • Ever gone on vacation only to keep checking out what's going on around MLB? I certainly have and, as's Corey Brock explains in this must-read piece, so has Padres executive Josh Byrnes.
  • The Dodgers agreed to terms with Clayton Kershaw on a one-year, $500K deal, according to's Ken Gurnick. That's more than usual for a pre-arbitration eligible player, but the 22-year-old has a 3.17 ERA and 9.3 K/9 in 483 innings of work, so he's not your average pre-arb player.
  • D'Backs GM Kevin Towers told's Steve Gilbert that he has been most impressed with utility player Ryan Roberts this spring (Twitter link).

Giants Don’t Intend To Trade Zito

Giants GM Brian Sabean told Bill Shaikin of the LA Times that he does not intend to trade Barry Zito this offseason. The Giants owe the left-hander $64.5MM over the course of the next three years – a lot of money for someone who hasn’t pitched like a $20MM player. Zito struggled down the stretch and is not on the Giants’ World Series roster, but Sabean says he likes having him on the team.

"We like Barry's contribution as far as the innings he pitches and the starts he makes," Sabean said. 

Zito, who is in the fourth year of his seven-year $126MM deal, logged just under 200 innings this season. He posted a 4.25 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 overall, but pitched to a 6.14 ERA in August and September. Zito makes his starts, but it's not as if teams are lining up to acquire the former Cy Young Award winner. The Giants couldn't trade him without taking on $40MM or more.

Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and last night's hero, Madison Bumgarner, occupy four spots in San Francisco's rotation. Sabean said lefty reliever Dan Runzler may get the chance to start, according to Tom Krasovic of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter).

Odds & Ends: Rays, Posey, Smoak, Hillman

Some links as we wonder what to make of the red-hot Padres…

Odds & Ends: Anderson, Penny, Mariners, Zito

Links for Tuesday, as J.J. Hardy hits the disabled list…

Odds & Ends: Bradley, Miles, Harwell, Zito

Links for Wednesday, as Ty Wigginton continues his assault on the American League…

  • Milton Bradley left the Mariners in the middle of last night's game, reports ESPN's Mike Salk.  The distractions become difficult to tolerate when he's hitting .214/.313/.371. GM Jack Zduriencik says Bradley asked the organization for help following last night's incident and will sit out for a few days while he works out personal "issues," according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times.
  • Bradley, for his part, texted Peter Gammons (Twitter link) to say: "Any reports I said I'm packing up and leaving are 100% fabricated."
  • The Cardinals aren't sure yet whether Aaron Miles will work his way up to the bigs, writes Andy Jasner at The team is evaluating Miles' progress after signing him to a minor league deal last week.
  • Baseball fans are mourning the loss of Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, who was 92. A public viewing will take place Thursday night at Comerica Park.
  • Barry Zito's 2014 option for $18MM vests if he starts racking up 200 inning seasons, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Even if it remains a club option, the Giants face a hefty $7MM buyout.
  • Baseball America's Jim Callis says Texas high school righty Jameson Taillon is the consensus #2 in the June draft.  Will the Pirates spring for him?  Will the Orioles have a shot at #3?