Saturday, December 30, 2006

Everybody Thinks Zito Signing Sucks. Except Zito.

Joining a growing chorus of disapproval over the Giants' dramatic signing of Barry Zito, Dayn Perry at adds his opinion in "Signing doesn't make sense for Zito, Giants":

Zito has joined a team without serious designs on a title, and the Giants have now overpaid for a pitcher who, at best, is going to make them a very expensive fourth-place team. So this turn of events makes sense for no one involved.

First, there's the status of the Giants. Last season, they were one of the oldest teams in the National League, and this winter, by re-signing or signing such dotards as Barry Bonds, Rich Aurilia, Dave Roberts and Ray Durham, they've managed to get even older. As well, the farm system at the moment is one of the worst in baseball, so there's precious little help on the way.

The Padres and Dodgers are far better poised to contend in the near term, and the Diamondbacks, graced with perhaps the best collection of pre-arbitration and minor league talent in baseball, should dominate in the long term. That leaves the Giants as a team of little consequence both now and going forward.

The Diamondbacks "should dominate in the long term"? That's news.

So why delay the sorely needed rebuilding process by making such a costly addition? They've now committed to a player who's not going to return value on the dollar, and by signing Zito, who was a Type-A free agent offered arbitration by the A's, they've also frittered away a high draft pick. Not wise.

Sabean doesn't seem to value draft picks like other teams do. A small sacrifice for him.

If winning were important to Zito, then he would've signed with the Mets. There, he would've been reunited with Peterson, he would've toiled in a park that's thoroughly hostile to right-handed power hitters, and he would've joined a team that won 97 games in 2006. Since he didn't sign with the Mets (or the Yankees, for that matter), we must assume that money and geography mattered more to Zito than his stated goal of winning a World Series.

By hiring Scott Boras, a player is saying exactly that: Money matters the most. It's disingenuous to say otherwise, but who could turn down $126 million?