Barry Zito’s time in San Francisco is almost certainly over. His seven years with the Giant did coincide with much organizational success but, obviously, Zito experienced more personal downs than ups in the orange and black.
But to the extent Zito struggled in San Francisco, he never felt abandoned by fans. Or of he did he’s being a big guy about it and putting it behind him. He showed that by taking out a full-page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle to thank Giants fans:
Seems like a pretty darn decent guy. Not just for the ad, of course. For all of the trouble he had on the field, you rarely if ever heard him say anything negative or, for that matter, people say anything negative about him personally. Sometimes guys don’t do as well as you hoped they do. Often when that happens, the relationship between the player and his team (and the fans) ends ugly.
Not with Zito. Not with the Giants. Not with Giants fans.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.