By trading Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals yesterday the Giants opened up a rotation spot and manager Bruce Bochy said that Barry Zito is the man for the job.
During a radio interview with KNBR today Bochy revealed: “I’m not gonna hide from it. Barry Zito is our fifth starter next year.”
Zito started just nine games this year because of injuries and ineffectiveness, and there was speculation throughout the season that the Giants might finally decide to eat his salary and release the veteran left-hander.
However, while Zito was a massive free agent bust and incredibly overpaid he’s also more often than not been a decent back-of-the-rotation starter and there’s no reason to part with that when the Giants are paying him either way. Zito had a 4.03 ERA over 192 innings in 2009 and a 4.15 ERA over 199 innings in 2010, and just about every team in baseball would be thrilled to get that out of their fifth starter.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.