A Spring Training observation

Inside the new Yankee Stadium
Game Thread: Throwing out the young guns

While Spring Training stats are, by and large, meaningless, if I’m in charge of giving out the rest of the $105 million owed to Barry Zito, I am alarmed by his spring numbers. In 12.2 spring innings, Zito has surrendered 21 H and 24 ER. He’s walked 10 hitters while striking out 0. That’s not a typo, and I sure am glad the Yanks didn’t sign him when they had the chance.

Inside the new Yankee Stadium
Game Thread: Throwing out the young guns
  • r.w.g.

    They gave him a god awful contract and I for the life of me cannot understand why. They have so much young pitching and are so far away from contending and they spent almost $200 million on two players who won’t turn them around (Zito, Rowand).

    Brian Sabean should have been fired the second he brought that Zito contract to Magowan’s desk, but clearly Magowan is at fault because he signed off on it. Ditto for Rowand. Enjoy paying $15 million a year for 65 RBIs.

    Even with Cain and Lincecum (and Sanchez/Bumgardner if they pan out) this team looks hopeless crippled. Sabean reminds me of Cashman — there are definite winning trends and seasons on his resume and it’s clear to see that he has put together winning teams. But some of the moves are so INSANELY bad that you wonder if he should really be the number one guy in charge.

    • AndrewYF

      Enjoy paying $15 million a year for 65 RBIs.

      Easy there. The Yankees are paying Damon $14 million for 63 RBI.

      • r.w.g.

        Johnny Damon was the slugging outfielder the Yankees added to bat in the middle of the lineup?

  • Count Zero

    The worst thing about Zito is that it was completely predictable — everyone and their mother knew he was being way overpaid and that he was likely to be a league-average pitcher at best.

    I wish I had a job where I could do things that stupid, get compensated at a ridiculous rate and not get fired.

    • r.w.g.

      It also isn’t clear if the Giants were even bidding against anyone else. Obviously there would be a lot of interest in Zito, but I don’t remember hearing about anyone else offering him a monster $100 mil+ contract.

      It’s like Scott Boras just said “I need $120 million for Zito” and Sabean just cut in line to make sure he got him. It doesn’t even make sense from a marketing/attendance standpoint.. nobody had said “We gotta go to the ballpark tonight, Zito is pitching” for at least 3 years before he signed this deal.

  • Curramba

    That’s one pitcher I didn’t even want the Yankees looking at and was soo scared they’d sign him. I was so happy when the SF gave him that ludicrous contract. Hope all Yankees fans that want him are thanking their lucky stars.

  • http://justinyates.wordpress.com Yankee Psycho-fan-t

    First of all, yes, bravo to the Yankees for not signing Zito, but the Mets almost did from what I remember. Boy, they must be happy they waited for Santana. Barry Zito RUINED the market for pitchers. It might be a stretch but think about how many relief pitchers have been signed for multi-year deals with yearly values entirely to high for their respective recipients. The one good thing to come out of the Zito signing is probably the Santana situation. Santana made the money he deserved, no one can argue that if A-Rod is worth close to 30 mil/ year, Santana is worth 20+mil. Santana, however, would not have made that money without a pitcher like Zito pulling that contract out of his ass. I think that after the Zito signing, the baseball world got really sick of being taken advantage of by Scott Boras. The GM’s collectively began calling his bluffs and just look what happened to him this past off-season. Second, I have to stand up for Cash a little bit. He did not have say in who stayed and who left in the Yankees system before 2005. We are starting to see the benefits of having Cashman holding the reigns instead of an increasingly senile and impetuous George M. Steinbrenner III. I’m sure he had some input, but his only real job was to make sure the people the Tampa Contingent wanted signed, got signed. Remember when we had a choice between Vlad Guerrero in his prime and Gary Sheffield? Remember when we did everything we could to trade for Randy Johnson? Even last year Cash had to make some things happen I’m sure he would have neglected had the decisions been his own. Remember when we prorated Roger Clemens 25 million dollars last year to be league average? Yeah, those situations worked out really well. Cash is a good GM who has consistently had to pander to the Steinbrenners and the masses of win now Yankees fans who had no comprehension of what it meant to grow a farm system until Wang, Cano and Joba illustrated the point Cash has been trying to make for years. Yes, he signed Carl Pavano, but the Red Sox were in on that too and there was no way anyone could have seen the debacle that situation turned out to be. Cash is a good GM who performs amazingly given his circumstances. I for one, hope they extend him past this year, he’s cleaned up this system and turned it into something formidable. I’d be excited to see how good we can continue be in the future if Cash stays on, and the Steinbrenners stay marginally hands-off.

  • Ivan

    talk about a bad contract.

    This contract has the potential to be the worst contract in baseball history. After all it’s already in the top five.

  • MD

    Mike Hampton….Carl Pavano….Denny Neagle….Mo Vaughn….Vince Coleman…..Bobby Bonilla……we could go on and on….lots of mistakes out there…….Zito certainly in the top 20…….started with Wayne Garland, 10 year contract, one good season…..

    • RZG

      Chan Ho Park

  • Steve S

    can somebody mention the last two phil starts or will that reduce t-shirt sales. I love the kid and I am very optimistic, but there are too many positive things beings said about him and I fear the MUSH. Lets get some people to say some negative things about him so we balance some things out. (while normally I am completely logical baseball brings out the superstitious side of me)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      See the Game Thread.

      But briefly, we haven’t written posts on any of the Spring Training results from the Yanks. It’s Spring Training; as anyone watching last night’s game can attest to, Hughes was victimized by the wind and by bad fielding. In the third inning, he basically threw only changeups in an effort to get a feel for the pitch. It’s about the process and not the results. We’ll be worried about Phil when the season starts, and he’s not delivering. But for now, it’s Spring Training.

      • Steve S


        you have to relax, i was speaking tongue in cheek

  • Curramba

    Yankee Psycho-fan,
    You put that so well. Many Yankees fans like to blame Cash for things which he really didn’t have complete control over like Johnson, Brown and the list goes on. We can’t even say that Pavano was a signing that was made solely because that was Cash’s call either but at the time the Yankees signed that idiot The M’s, The Blosox, The Whitesox and I think even the Indians were interested in him. The only signing so far that I can say was a bad signing by Cash is Farnsworthless. Watch him have a great year this year :) I hope so that way we’ll get extra draft picks next year.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    iirc, a lot of NY media people wanted Cash to sign Zito. he knew better. Joba had more Ks in one inning today than Zito has in 12.2.