Originally posted on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 3/28/12

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll start off this post by saying I’ve been a San Francisco Giants fan since childhood. And initially when the Giants signed Barry Zito in December 2006, I was excited. It’s been a long time since then– five seasons and a 43-61 record with a 4.55 ERA, to be precise– but yes, when the Giants splurged $126 million over seven years on the former American League Cy Young winner, I figured it was the bold move they needed to be relevant again.

Boy, was I wrong, like the time I said the Giants should trade a young Tim Lincecum for then-Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios (because, hey, the Giants needed and still need offense.) If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I’m often gloriously wrong. On the following statement, though, I have little doubt: The Giants have finally reached a point where they can rid themselves of Barry Zito.

The seven years on Zito’s contract couldn’t have seemed like a bleaker eternity if Dostoevsky had included them in an ESPN-centric edition of Crime & Punishment, but San Francisco is finally nearing the light at the end of the tunnel. Just $46 million remains to be paid for Zito between $19 million due this season, $20 million in 2013, and a $7 million buyout for 2014. That’s cringe-worthy, but it’s not unmovable.

The Giants have options. They can keep trying Zito as a sometimes starter and long reliever, hoping perhaps that he’ll improve on his 1.407 WHIP or cumulative 3.8 WAR during his time in San Francisco. They can consign him to Triple-A, swallowing their mistake as the New York Yankees have done with Kei Igawa. Or they can go with their third and best option: They can move him. If the Yankees could recently pawn off A.J. Burnett, it doesn’t seem inconceivable that the Giants could do likewise with Zito.

Here are three ways the Giants could trade Barry Zito:

  1. Eat $35-40 million of the remaining dollars on Zito’s contract and send him somewhere like the Baltimore Orioles. At this point, the $46 million is a sunk cost for the Giants, and if they can recoup even a fraction of that, it’d be something. Even getting a few bucks for Zito and not having him commanding a roster spot for San Francisco is good enough for me.
  2. Use Zito as leverage for giving the Oakland Athletics territorial rights to San Jose. Fellow baseball writer Wendy Thurm tweeted this idea Monday, and while it seems too fantastical to happen, just imagine: The Giants get a good prospect, one of the A’s extra outfielders perhaps, and they rid themselves of Zito; in return, the A’s get an expedited hold of one of America’s best markets for corporate sponsorship, the Silicon Valley.
  3. The Giants take back a bad contract in return. Perhaps Zito and, say, Vernon Wells would each benefit from a change of scenery.

Honestly, if I’m Brian Sabean, I start thinking more and more in the months to come about simply giving Zito his walking papers. It worked for Aaron Rowand and Miguel Tejada, and even if it means the Giants may eventually be spending more having guys not play for their teams than some teams do on their entire payrolls, it’d still be worth it to me.

_______________

Graham Womack is the founder and editor of Baseball: Past and Present and can be found here every Wednesday. Follow him on Twitter @grahamdude.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker