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Thursday, December 28, 2006

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According to Yahoo sports, "Free agent left-hander Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to a seven-year, $126-million contract, according to baseball officials. "

espn, cold pizza, gammons now all reporting the same thing. Looks like it is real.

Apparently the Rangers are going after Toma Okha now - talk about a step down from Zito. They are just wasting money down there anyway.

I'd be willing to wager that Zito knew all along that he'd stay on the west coast, and just used the Mets to drive the numbers up. But then again, Lilly and Suppan et al couldn't have hurt either.

I agree with Jason though, in that this indeed helps the Phillies using the addition by subtraction theory.

That Tomo Ohka rumor was from the New York Post, so take it with a very big grain of salt. I would like to see if the Phils can trade Lieber to the Mets or Yankees now - he pitched well in New York and he is better than the remaining free agent options, except maybe Jeff WEaver who will probably stay in St. Louis.

i agree it helps the phils but don't see how its "addition by subtraction" since the mets didn't have him last year and they were able to beat the crap out of us last year until the last few months when we gained ground. I still believe the mets even with a poor pitching staff will win 90 games. To worry about other teams is crazy in december - the phils fans should focus on this team and making us better.

Basically the same deal Vernon Wells got. A Mets trade for a starter will most likely require the Mets to give up one of their top pitching prospects (Pelfrey or Humber). So this is good news all around.

Nice to see the Mets get screwed! Is Ohka really better than Lieber? He is a few years younger and probably can be had for cheaper.

The Rangers are crazy. They are Philly-South, like we are Seattle-East. What's another one or two ex-Phils in their rotation. Send donut-boy packing!

Verdeforce - there is no way Lieber gets traded to the Mets.

I agree with Tom G. No way that Lieber goes to the Mets. The Yankees may want him. I remember hearing that they regretted letting him go a few years ago. Hopefully, Brian Cashman still holds him in high regard.

"Apparently the Rangers are going after Toma Okha now - talk about a step down from Zito."

It is a step down, but considering how much cheaper Ohka will be, I rather have him then Zito.

Last 3 years (ERA+)

Zito - 105, 116, 116
Ohka - 93, 102, 122

Zito has a big edge in innings over this time, but if Ohka is healthy, I don't think it is a stretch to say he will probably put up similar numbers this year, if you adjust for ballpark and league.

Zito was helped A LOT by his ballpark and hasn't been nearly as good the past three seasons as he was in '02 and '03. He will probably pitch around 220 innings with an ERA around 4 in that park, but he will be waaay overpaid. I wouldn't trade any of the Phils 6 starters (well, maybe Eaton) for Zito, if that contract came with it.

Wow. Considering how much higher this deal is than what the Mets reportedly offered, I have to think Gillick is doing the right thing by scrimping this offseason. I don't usually feel that way, but I have to think a lot of these teams are robbing themselves of future flexibility by throwing such large sums at a mediocre crop of free agents and near-free agents. And we still have Utley and Howard to deal with.

Absolutely insane. If it were Johan Santana or maybe Carlos Zambrano signing that deal, I could see it--though I'd still be terrified of committing to a pitcher for that long, for that much.

But Zito? The guy's heat tops out at 86-87. He struggles against the good teams (check out his career numbers vs. the Yankees and Red Sox). I guess that in that park, he'll probably be good for Freddy Garcia type numbers... but for that money, they'll need him to be Pedro Martinez in his prime, and he's not that guy.

It's even more astounding when you think about what the Astros paid to lock up Roy Oswalt, a clearly better pitcher. Sabean might be an idiot, after all.

Not surprised that Zito stayed in the Bay Area with the Giants. Don't know why people on so down on Zito, but he should post some pretty decent numbers (13-15 wins, 3.50-3.75 ERA). Zito just won't be a Cy Young candidate because the Giants will be under .500 again next season and their defense will very suspect at a few spots (LF, 2B, RF).

This moves definitely forces the Mets into scramble mode. Wonder if a savvy GM would be able to take advantage. Probably get Lastings Millredge and a decent reliever or two. White Sox probably traded away their starting pitching depth a little too quickly.

Salary aside, it is the length that is the true killer about the Zito signing. 7 years is fantasy-land when talking about a starting pitcher's career.

Giants basically gave away that last year to renew some seat licenses in '07 and '08.

I'm glad it wasn't us. I'm glad it wasn't the Mets. Doughnut Boy just went up in value. Cha-ching!

Yeah they overpaid but in 3 years when guys like Hamels, Verlander, and Weaver (if their elbows don't explode) are getting 150-200 million contracts this will look like a bargain.

I don't think it is very likely that the Phils would deal with the Mets, but I'm just dreaming about the idea of Omar Minaya being taken to the cleaners by Pat Gillick for Lieber.

Now that Zito has signed - there are other teams besides Texas that make sense for a Lieber-landing - no one has mentioned the Mariners, but they are looking to upgrade the rotation, and the D'backs if they don't get Johnson have tons of young pitching prospects and relievers who have had some success.

Jumped over to MetsBlog and they're crying in their beer and salivating over Zambrano for next year.

Interesting article on roster depth. Makes a case for having a 6th starter.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/how-good-is-your-4-starter/

Tony, I'm not sure you're right about future contracts exceeding this one. Free agent contracts fluctuate according to laws of supply and demand. Because there were very few quality free agents this year, demand was exceptionally high. In addition, many teams, the Giants included, had just finished clearing very expensive contracts off their books. While a chart of average salaries shows a steady rise, the actual numbers go in peaks and troughs.

MG is right about the length of this contract -- it bucks both history and the odds, and if Zito's arm gives out, it will reinforce the folly of giving contracts that long to pitchers. This is especially true given that insurance companies are no longer willing to underwrite baseball contracts to the extent they once did.

This seems especially risky given the soft-tossing nature of Zito's game. If he loses 2 mph off his fastball, he's a batting practice pitcher -- very few pitchers have such exceptional control they can succeed at 86 mph (this is one reason I'm very worried about Moyer over an entire season).

Tony, I don't think so - this is the first $100M deal for a pitcher since Hampton, a player who managed to hamper three different organizations. After that disaster, teams backed off.

Also, nobody has yet to come close to the Ramirez/A-Rod Jete signings from 5? years back. Sometimes there are just bubles in the market, and this year sure as hell looks like one. There was all the money from the Satelite radio deal and the confidence of a new CBA...Zambrano and Santana will probably get something close to this, but they are FAR FAR better pitchers than Zito.

Also, those three guys you mentioned are a lot further than three years away from FA...try 6!

dajafi: Talking about Zito's heater is like talking about Burrell's speed on the basepaths. It has nothing to do with his value. Zito has the best curveball in baseball. I think the money is ridiculous and I'm glad the Phillies didn't sign him at that price. But he'll pitch 220 innings win 15 games and have an ERA around 3.60 for the Giants next season.

Alby, the major leagues are filled with pitchers who succeed with mid-80s fastballs, Moyer and Maddux being just two of them. A mid-80s fastball that moves, for example, or one that comes after a steady diet of changeups can be an out pitch.

I too am hopeful that Lieber will yield a solid bullpen arm or two, but I also think it is quite possible that given his age and poor season, he ranks at the bottom of other teams' wish lists. He may yield less than we expect.

verderforce: The Mariners are rebuilding so he doesn't make sense there, but the D'Backs would indeed be a good fit.

Clout, you're the one making ridiculous statements now -- the major leagues are FILLED with guys succeeding with mid-80s fastballs? Suppose you list a few. Maddux and Moyer are, I would argue, poor examples -- their best years came when they could reach 88, or at least Maddux's were (I rarely saw Moyer pitch before the Phillies got him). I would argue that they became much closer to average pitchers when their fastballs lost a few mph.

You're probably right. But with revenue sharing aren't teams in the future going to be throwing around a little more money than the usual year to year inflation? (I have no clue when it comes to this stuff, I could tell you how to hit a curveball and the best way to go back on a fly ball over your head but when it comes to this stuff I'm clueless :-) )

I thought that was the main reason why some of these guys were getting ridiculous contracts... the owners have more money.

And the durability of Zito alone almost makes it worth it. *Almost*. The guy has outstanding mechanics, nothing herky jerky in his throwing motion at all, he's probably a lock for 200+ innings the next 5 years and we all know how vaulable that is.

Another thing is that leftys that know how to pitch last forever in this league. Guys like Moyer and Glavine. He'll be 35 when this contract is up, Glavine was 16-7 (3.57) when he was 35 and 18-11 (2.96)when he was 36. By then middle rotation pitchers will be making 15-18 million, Padilla and Meche aren't that far off from making that now.

My point is right now yeah it looks like a bad deal. But in 5 years it won't look as bad when Ted Lilly Jr. signs a 4 year 65 million deal.

if ONLY jamie moyer still had a mid-80s fastball. when was that, 1995?

I didn't say they were stars. I just said they were succeeding as major leaguers. Every team has 3 or 4 at least. How about Tom Glavine? Bob Wickman? Todd Jones? Tim Wakefield? That's just off the top of my head, there are plenty more obscure guys on mlb rosters who work with 84-86 mph fastballs.

I'm a lot more worried about the Marlins than the Mets. At this moment the Mets starting rotation is Glavine, El Duque, Maine, Oliver Perez and Dave Williams. Pedro is out until at least July. Glavine & El Duque are old and could break down. Maine had a career year and I'd be shocked if he repeated. I ain't afraid of no Mets.

Wait, is this the real clout, or someone posting under his name. Tim Wakefield? Seriously, he is one of your examples of a guys succeeding with a mid-80s fastball. Last time at Fenway I think he topped out around 78. Oh, and I think he also throws some kind of other weird pitch :-)

And this:
"Talking about Zito's heater is like talking about Burrell's speed on the basepaths. It has nothing to do with his value."

Huh? If Burrell was Bourn-like fast, he would be way more valuable. Similarly, if Zito had more gass and K's more batters, he would be more valuable too.

If you don't like fastball speeds, how 'bout K-BB ratio. It's like 3:2, which is absurdly low. His WHIP the last three years has been 1.39, 1.20 and 1.40, and that is playing in an awesome pitchers park (especially for a FB pitcher like Zito) with good OF defense.

And this statement:

"there are plenty more obscure guys on mlb rosters who work with 84-86 mph fastballs." pretty much proves Alby's point.

Were you just looking for an argument dude.

Clout, The Mets won 97 games last year. They did it with Glavine, an injured Pedro, Trachs, Maine, El Duque and then a bunch of other starters they hobbled together as 4th and 5th starters (Williams, Bannister, Soler, Perez,Zambrano, Lima, and some others). Even if they drop off a bit, they aren't an 85 win team.

Tony, I like you're revised position. This probably won't be a killer like Hampton or Mo Vaughn, but it will probably be more similar to the A-Rod deal where you get very good permormances (or even great like A-Rod) but they don't come close to what you are paying them. Teams like the Sox or Yankees can afford insane contracts like A-Rod or Manny (two very very good players that are still substantially overpaid), teams like San Fran cannot.

I'm with clout in not being worried about the Mets - El Duque, Glavine, and Pedro keep getting older and more injury-riddled. Alou for Floyd is an upgrade, but their fans are upset because they have done nothing to keep up with the Phils who were competitive with them at the end of the year and added F. Garcia et. al. without giving anything up of real value.

I think the Phils and Mets are fairly even right now. There rotation is a shambles, but i assume they will acquire at least one veteran before the off season. Right now, I would put the lineups at equal, and give the Mets a fairly substatial edge in the pen...oh, and manager too.

I have a feeling the Mets will probably acquire at least one more starter, so I wouldn't count them out yet.

kdon: Alby's argument was that there aren't many major leaguers succeeding who throw in the mid-80s or lower. My argument was that they're are, i.e. you don't need a 90 mph fastball to succeed. There are plenty of major league pitchers who can't. Feel free to debate me on that.

My point on Zito is that mentioning his weakness while ignoring his strength is just silly. Burrell would be more valuable if he had bat-wings and could fly. So what's your point?

Billy Mac: How many games did the Mets win in 2005? Were Pedro, Glavine & Trachs on that team?

>> Billy Mac: How many games did the Mets win in 2005? Were Pedro, Glavine & Trachs on that team?

This is not close to the 2005 team with Mientkiewicz at first, Looper closing, an injured Beltran, and 22yr old Reyes with ops < 700.

Kdon, you gave me the laugh of the day with: "give the Mets a fairly substatial edge in the pen...oh, and manager too." I'm sure Carson will smile when he reads it, too.

Billy Mac: True, but it is a team with Glavine and Trach 2 years older and a Pedro who won't pitch until July, coming off surgery. And Alou and Green are statues in LF and RF. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say the Mets won't win 90 games in 2007.

They haven't even re-signed Trachsel yet, so we'll see what they do for SPs.

Clout: I hope you are right about the Muts in 2007. I have to think that Minaya can't get as lucky as 2006 on fringe pickups like Endy, Valentin, Bradford, Darren Oliver ...
He was sort of the anti-Gillick that way.

BTW: Mets won't resign Trachsel. They will get someone outside or go with what they have (Williams, Heilman, Soler, Pelfrey, ...)

I know some of you said no way to a possible Mets trade, but how about Leiber for Heilman, straight up?

i really would love to see Trachsel pitch somewhere else.... like Japan, so I dont ever have to sit through another one of his painfully slow games.

The free agent fringe signings are always a gamble. some times you win, some times, you get Ryan Franklin.

Verdeforce:

I would make that deal in a heartbeat, but I do not see the Mets making that deal. It is simply not a trade for equal value, but then neither was Juan Samuel for Lenny Dykstra.

Teams do not make many trades in their own division for fear of helping the competition.

wow 7 years. i know it's the most moneywise, but is it also the longest contract length for a pitcher? i can't think of anyone else that long.

as for the 88 mph argument, i think you're both right. but are tim wakefield, maddux, etc worth 18mil? only to a desperate team i guess.

90 games for the mets? today i'd take the under, but they are going to move heilman or miledge for a pitcher, so i think by april i'll probably take the over.

it's great zito isn't in the nl east. i look forward to seeing him go up against chase and ryan 6 times a year though.

I'd love to get Heilman for Lieber straight up. Too bad it won't happen. Heilman wants to start and may just get that opportunity with the Mets being unable to land Zito. If not, he is too valuable to their pen.

We would probably have better luck shipping Lieber off to the other team in New York. I heard grumblings about Proctor or Farnsworth being offered. It would be nice to see the Phils land both, especially after getting bent over in the Abreu deal.

I still say hold onto Lieber his $7 million as starter salary is a (bargain) compared to the $ being tossed around this winter. Hold onto him and make him your long man until some team (other than the mets) loses a starter and needs one as a replacement. THen deal him when you're in a favorable position. However you cannot argue with Gillick if he does deal Lieber for pen/of help in the very near future because those are areas which need alot of help right now.

THese salaries being given to FA are not going to be going down. Just take a look at sports in general. Except for Hockey which should not be considered a major sport after their lockout a few years back. Salaries are consistently going up because revenues (ticket sales / fox & ESPN tv deals/ radio / satelitte Tv & radio packages/ merchandising/ etc) are all continuing to increase. Since there is no cap in baseball I see no reason why future FA will get lesser $ than those given this offseason.

Just do the math, MLB set broke its attendence record for the 3rd straight year at $76 million in paid attendance. Total revenues for all teams totaled $5.2 billion dollars. For argument sake, if we assume every team brings in the same amount (which we know is incorrect) then teams on avg brought in $170 million each. No understandably the Yanks, Mets, Angels, Dodgers are high market citys but the phils should up there too. If the phils set their payroll at $90 million next year then they sure do have a hell of alot of $ left over.

All this leads me to believe that the salary structure of the game will continue to increase.

Dude: Agree with everything in your post above. Not sure Lieber would agree to bullpen work, however.

I appreciated your prospect list from the last thread. I'll repost your top 20 here and add my comments. Maybe others can too.
1. RHSP Carlos Carrasco (if he's really 19 then he's at least 3 years away from CBP)
c: Sickels had him #1 too and I don't know why. He had a great year at Lakewood, but his prior stats were mediocre and I want to see his walks go down at Clearwater next season. I wouldn't put him in top 5.

2. RHSP Scott Mathieson (profiles as he Phillies are notorious for falling in love with toolsy outfielders come draft day (so muceither a future starter or relief ace.)
c: I like him as a reliever, but saw nothing last year to suggest he's one of the top 5 prospects.

3. RHSP Kyle Drabek (attitude/makeup are question marks)
c: Totally agree. Scouts love his potential so until he flops in a full season he should be top 3.

4. LHSP J.A. Happ (will be on this team at some point this year)
c: Classic finesse lefty and I am suspicious of these guys but he's had so much success he's got to be top 5. If he continues the same way in Triple A he can make show this year.

5. OF Michael Bourn (kenny lofton clone but without the pop).
c: the best of a weak batch of position prospects. I'd rank him in top 10, not top 5.

6. 3B Michael Costanzo (he's a good looking kid and local so the phils will give him every opportunity to prove he CAN'T be the next everyday 3rd baseman in CBP)
c: .258 with 133 Ks at Clearwater doesn't impress me. But he does have some pop and I love that he hits lefty. Let's see what he does in AA.

7. LHSP Josh Outman (love the skills and name)
c: Hard thrower with great K/9 ratio. I'd rank him top 5 but he needs better control.

8. RHSP Edgar Garcia (honestly haven't seen him pitch)
c: Great K/BB ratio, needs to improve his slider, only 19. Definite top 10.

9. OF Greg Golson (too many raw skills to say he's a total dissapointment but this year he has to hit .275 with 15-20 hrs and most importantly lower his K rate)
c: I would not even include him on a prospect list. Probably won't even be as good as Reggie Taylor, a similar player.

10. INF Adrian Cardenas (will be a major leaguer in the next 3 years)
c: 1st rounder who had a nice debut at Batavia at age 18. Definite top 10. I love lefty-hitting 2Bmen.

11. LHRP Fabio Castro (will somehow play a part on this team maybe as a reliever after some experience in AAA).
c: Proved he can pitch in The Show. I'd put him in the top 5. I think he'll have more success in the bullpen than as a starter.

12. RHRP Zack Segovia (been my darkhorse all offseason as a guy who will make this team out of Spring Training much like Carlos Silva in '02).
c: Not as high on this guy as others are. Turns 24 in April and his K/9 isn't that great for a power pitcher. A big year at Ottawa would change my mind.

13. OF D'Arby Myers (could be a stud from everything i've heard)
c: The Phils have ALWAYS chosen raw athletic talent over baseball skills. Golson, Roberson, Reggie Taylor, Jeff Stone and many more. This is the latest version, from the 06 draft.

14. LHSP Matt Maloney (the guy was a gamer in the playoffs for Lakewood last yr)
c: A mid-80s fastball (take note Alby) with sinking action plus decent curve and change. Walks a bit high for my taste. I have a gut feeling he'll do well at Reading, which is where he should be at age 23.

15. RHSP Justin Germano (YOUNG journeyman who could play a role this year much like Condrey / Sanches did in '06)
c: this guy is way better than Condrey/Sanches. I'd put him in the top 10. Think Russ Ortiz.

16. C Jason Jaramillo (needs to take his AFL success into this season or else his career could be as a backup)
c: He'll be a career backup. Decent glove, won't hit much. I like Ruiz better.

17. RHRP Joe Bisenius - (throws hard and slower to develop thus far)
c: Impressive K/BB at Reading and maybe something did click. We'll find out this year whether his '05 season or his '06 season was the truth.

18. LHSP Daniel Brauer (???)
c: The Phils have a ton of promising lefty prospects. This guy, like Happ, is out of Northwestern, drafted 6th round last spring.
Impressive at Batavia, but needs to improve his control. Not a top 10 prospect.

19. RHSP Kyle Kendrick (another young gun for the future)
c: It took him 3 tries to master Clearwater and he gave up a ton of HRs. I don't think he makes it.

20. OF Jeremy Slayden (has some ability and wouldn't be surprised if becomes a platoon guy in the future)
c: Turns 25 in July so they need to jump him fast to AAA to see what he can do. Shows lefty power and OB ability, valuable assets. Not a pure athlete but actually has some baseball skills. This is contrary to Phillies policy and someone probably was fired for drafting him.

23. SS C.J. Henry (will always be considered a disappointment just based upon trade for Abreu was ludicrious on paper)
c: I included him because of the Abreu trade. If he ever makes the big leagues it will be as a utilityman. I doubt he ever gets more than a cup of coffee, if that.

Nice review Clout, agree with most of what you said but you probably have way more knowledge about the subject than me.

I have been following Cardenas and it looks like the kid can flat out rake. He didn't hit lefties at all in the GCL so that might be one thing to keep and eye on but other than that he does it all. Probably a 4 tool player, 5 if they can find a position for him to stick to(SS? 2B?). I'd like to see him try 3B just in case Costanzo doesn't pan out. It might be a reach but I'm thinking out loud here.

Don't know if you guys saw this but Randy Miller sat down with Arbuckle last year to talk about the pitching prospects, One name I don't see mentioned is Pat Overholt, Arbuckle seems to like him a lot. I never heard of him though.

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/102-08202006-700275.html

Interesting take Clout. Biggest opportunities this year will for some of the younger guys in the pen.

At this point, Castro looks like he starts the season in Philly. Plus, I think the bullpen is going to be a work-in-progress all next year. Willing to bet that Germano, Bisenius, and Happ all see some time with the club before Sept. due to the lack of arms in the bullpen.

Besides the lack of arms in the pen, I am willing to bet that either Madson and/or Smith post some pretty mediocre numbers out of the gate. Definitely see an opportunity for a callup to replace one of these two guys.

Tony - I too have never heard a word of Overholt by phils brass. I had him #28 on my list in a prior thread and didn't really know much about him.

After doing some research the kid looks like he's more of a prospect than half the others I listed ahead of him. He's going to be 23 this season out of college in '05. IHe's a 22nd round draftee. I did see on another page that he had TOmmy John Surgery during fresh year in college and has made it back throwing harder than prior to surgery. Fastball can get up to 96-97. Has a nasty offspeed change & slider that need to mature. He will only be able to do that with more work and comfort.

His K/9 rate is off the charts and it looks like they used him as a closer the past 2 seasons in Batavia/Clearwater/Lakewood. He's been moving up the board and wouldn't be surprised if he's at Reading by seasons' end this year. Walks are too high and could be a concern but the H/9IP is down & K/9IP is great at 14/9IP last year. Could be a sleeper that everyone has left off previous prospect lists.

His stats are actually pretty comparable to Lidge in the minors although Lidge was used as a starter in the minors.

Wow, Overholt does look good, never heard of the guy. Why not start him at reading? He is 23, and aside from a minor control issue, seems to have already figured out how to get A ball guys out.

FYI, The Dude is not That Dude

THat Dude is not THe Dude either!! Where's my boy parker?

Hanley Ramirez shut down after straining his shoulder in winter ball. Should still be ready to play this spring training, but maybe it'll nag him all season.

What he was doing playing winterball is anyones guess.

Will, a lot of the players from the Dominican Rebuplic and S. America go home to play winterball. It is VERY popular locally and if a player keeps his off-season home in his country of birth, it is almost a requirement.

THe, That -- STAY OUT OF MALIBU!

The general feeling seems to be that Zito signing with SF is good for the Phillies because the Mets didn't get him, and because another pitcher is off the market, thereby increasing Lieber's trade value.
I will agree with the second part: Lieber's value is probably increased with another pitcher off the market.

But as to whether Zito signing with a team other than the Mets is good thing for the Phillies, I'm not so sure, especially longer term. I'm taking the Devil's Advocate postion here, but let's look at it.

First, how good is Zito, really? He gives you innings, he has a presence, he's a lefty and he's young enough, but his peripherals are not #1 starter material, and they have declined each of the past three seasons. Is it a bad thing for the Phillies if the Mets sign him for 6-7 years at $16-18 mil a year? That locks the Mets in with a very heavy contract for quite a while.

If the Mets were willing to pay that much, then they must feel they need serious help in their rotation and are willing to pay to get it. So with Zito gone, do you suppose they are now going to give up? Or might they offer whatever it takes to swing a deal for someone like Dontrelle Willis, or work something out with Oakland for Harden? I think NY is a much better team with Willis in his contract year rather than with Zito, and Willis will probably be cheaper if/when they extend him.

The Mets not getting Zito only helps the Phillies if NY can not get someone better.

If you think the $126 mil, 7-yr contract for Barry Zito was a bad move by SF, then you would want your rivals to have done the same thing. It's certainly hurts them long term, and maybe short term as well.
I think the Mets were smart enough to understand that. It remains to be seen whether NY get acquire anyone as good as Zito in trade, but if they do, you know it will be for a lot less than what they would have had to commit to get Zito as a FA.

Let's see how it plays out.

George, The difference between the Mets and the Giants is that the Mets have the financial resources that Zito's contract (even if he got hurt or severely underperformed) would not have hamstrung them in any way. I don't think this would have impacted their baseball decisions similar to how Kevin Brown's bad contract didn't impact the Yankees ability to sign other players. Agreed they can trade for a Willis or Harden who actually may be better than Zito. But this will cost them players and/or prospects. Zito was just money which they have plenty. I would agree that signing Zito likely would have influenced the Mets decisions in 2008 to sign another big free agent pitcher (like Zambrano) or a posting bid for a Japanese pitcher, but overall this is good news for the Phils. To me the free agent signing that could have the largest negative downstream impact on any organization is Jeff Suppan's, considering Milwaukee's payroll.

i agree with billy mac. i think even if the mets signed zito they'd be 20 some mil under the luxury tax and would have plenty of money to play with. the thing with zito that could have potentially killed us is that he's a lefty, so unless it is dontrell the mets get this year (which they're not), i think we're better off. plus, no matter what his peripherals are, he wins games and will help san fran and would have helped the mets.

Anybody who thinks the Mets aren't a better team with Zito is just being foolish.

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