Jesse Chavez‘s season-ending rib injury convinced the A’s they needed some extra pitching help down the stretch and they’ve called up 37-year-old left-hander Barry Zito for his first big-league action since 2013.
Zito came out of retirement in an attempt to make the A’s out of spring training, but failed to grab a spot on the pitching staff and spent all season in the rotation at Triple-A Nashville.
He wasn’t particularly good at Triple-A, posting a 3.46 ERA and 91/60 K/BB ratio in 138 innings, and when rosters expanded for September the A’s said they had no plans to call up the 37-year-old former Cy Young winner.
Chavez’s injury opens up a spot for Zito and with the A’s in last place this at least gives fans a little something to be interested in. Zito spent the first seven seasons of his career in Oakland, making three All-Star teams and winning one Cy Young award while going 102-63 with a 3.55 ERA in 222 starts. He left as a free agent following the 2006 season, signing a massive, ill-fated long-term deal with the Giants.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.