It looked like Barry Zito had pitched his way out of the Giants’ rotation for the final time last week, but instead they gave him another start last night and he lost on the road again.
Zito was yanked after four innings against the Padres, allowing four runs while dropping to 0-9 with a 9.25 ERA in road games this season. He’s one month away from the Giants buying out his 2014 option for $8 million and saying goodbye to Zito after paying him $126 million, but manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he won’t be dropped from the roster:
We pull for him, believe me. I can’t tell you how much we pull for him. He’s a good teammate. What he did for us last year, you hate to see him go through this. One thing about Barry: I know the results haven’t been good, but he’s all-in in his preparation and his effort. It’s just been a rough go, especially on the road.
As for his spot in the rotation, at some point you’d think being a nice guy and pitching for successful teams would take a backseat to being really, really awful. But who knows.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.