A’s southpaw Barry Zito tossed four innings tonight in what could be his final Major League appearance, although the veteran lefty isn’t officially calling it a career yet, tweets MLB.com’s Jane Lee. Zito says that while he won’t yet announce his retirement, he does feel “complete” and is likes the idea of spending time with his family. If this is indeed it for Zito, the game had somewhat of a full-circle slant to it. As Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com notes (via Twitter), Zito’s final start would be closed out by Sean Doolittle, whom the Athletics drafted with the compensation pick they earned upon Zito’s free agent departure.
A few more notes from the American League as Wednesday evening winds down…
- Question marks surround Jeff Samardzija as he heads into free agency, writes ESPN Chicago’s Doug Padilla. The right-hander closed out the season with a pair of excellent starts, but that does little to erase the dismal August through which Samardzija suffered. Samardzija candidly said he’s not overly concerned with how much money he earns in free agency from a personal standpoint. Rather, his concern in contract negotiations has always been to preserve market value and set precedents for those who come after him. “I had enough money when I signed with the Cubs back in 2006,” said Samardzija, referring to the $10MM deal he signed with the Cubs to forgo his football career. “So, like I said before, for me it’s more about a professional thing and respecting the guys that came before me that have put us in this situation in this game. To make the money we make, and have the fun we have, and travel the way we travel, that needs to be continued by players that are coming behind me and current players. For me, that’s important.” Samardzija spoke highly of his time with the White Sox, saying the team has a number of great pieces in place that will help right the ship in future seasons and sounded open to a return.
- Orioles lefty Brian Matusz will undergo surgery to repair the arthritic AC joint in right (non-throwing) shoulder on Monday, tweets Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. The injury, Matusz told reporters (link), didn’t impact his performance but did force him to scale back his workouts. Encina notes that Matusz’s hope is that having the surgery immediately after the season will give him enough time to recover and enjoy a normal offseason before getting back into his preseason routine.
- The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo covered a number of trade-related Red Sox topics in his latest mailbag piece. Within, Cafardo mentions that he recently spoke to one scout who feels the Sox should be willing to move left-hander Henry Owens if he were to bring back a more established arm (bear in mind, of course, that’s one scout’s take). Cafardo also writes about Deven Marrero’s future in Boston, or lack thereof, as he feels Marrero will ultimately end up as trade bait due to lack of a clear path to playing time and a glove that makes him capable of starting at shortstop elsewhere. Other offseason trade candidates he mentions include Clay Buchholz and Wade Miley.