We have a reunion on our hands, folks. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have signed left-hander Barry Zito to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman confirms the report and adds that Zito will receive a $1 million base salary if he makes the Athletics. He could earn an additional $175,000 through incentives.
This is a homecoming for Zito, who was was a first-round pick of the Athletics in 1999. He went 102-63 with a 3.55 ERA over seven seasons with the club, highlighted by an AL Cy Young Award in 2002 and three All-Star selections. Following the 2006 season, Zito signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Giants. Outside of a good showing in the 2012 postseason, he never lived up to the big contract, posting a 4.62 ERA over 197 starts and 11 relief appearances. The Giants cut ties with him after 2013 and he sat out all of last season, but he’s hoping to prove that he still has something left. He turns 37 in May.