Barry Zito has been terrible this season, going 4-11 with a 5.91 ERA, but the Giants have repeatedly stuck with him in the rotation until finally deciding this week that they’ve seen enough.
And then I read this from Chris Haft of MLB.com:
While reiterating his respect for Barry Zito, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that no plans have been made to assign the left-hander a ceremonial final start at AT&T Park as a gesture of appreciation.
Look, the Giants have done a lot of winning with Zito in the rotation and I’m sure Zito is a perfectly good person and well-liked teammate, but the “gesture of appreciation” he gets is the $126 million San Francisco will end up paying him for what is right now 1,134 innings of a 4.63 ERA and a 63-80 record. That includes a $7 million buyout the Giants will give him after the season to avoid keeping him for 2014 at $18 million.
If anything Zito ought to be giving the Giants a gesture of appreciation.
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:
Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.
Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.
The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.
Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.
Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.