Barry Zito’s “gesture of appreciation” is $126 million

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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.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.