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Zito agrees to $126 million, seven-year deal with Giants

Zito agrees to $126 million, seven-year deal with Giants

Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants reached a preliminary agreement on the largest contract for a pitcher in baseball history, a $126 million seven-year deal.
While there was no immediate confirmation from the Giants, details of the contract were provided Thursday to The Associated Press by two persons familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't announced by the team.
Zito's agreement, reached late Wednesday night, includes an $18 million option for 2014 that could increase the value to $144 million. The option would become guaranteed if Zito pitches 200 innings in 2013, 400 combined over 2012 and 2013 or 600 combined from 2011-13.
Zito is scheduled to have a physical Friday, and the Giants planned to announce their agreement with the three-time All-Star later in the day. His decision to sign with the Giants first was reported on MLB.com.
Zito's deal ties for the sixth largest overall, matching the $126 million, seven-year extension agreed to this month by Toronto and center fielder Vernon Wells. Previously, the largest contract for a pitcher was Mike Hampton's $121 million, eight-year deal with the Colorado Rockies before the 2001 season.
Texas, Seattle and the New York Mets also pursued Zito, the top available pitcher on the free-agent market. The 28-year-old left-hander spent the last seven seasons across San Francisco Bay pitching with the Oakland Athletics, and staying in the area appeared to be a factor in his decision.
Zito has been among the most durable pitchers in the majors, making 34 or more starts and throwing 210 or more innings in six straight seasons.
He was 16-10 with a 3.83 ERA last season and has a 102-63 career record with a 3.55 ERA. Zito won the 2002 AL Cy Young Award after going 23-5.
As part of his agreement with the Giants, Zito will fund the construction of youth fields in the San Francisco area through his foundation.
Only Alex Rodriguez ($252 million), Derek Jeter ($189 million), Manny Ramirez ($160 million), Todd Helton ($141.5 million) and Alfonso Soriano ($136 million) have contracts with more guaranteed money.
Zito's is the 14th $100 million deal in baseball history and the fourth of the offseason following agreements by Soriano (Cubs), Wells and Carlos Lee ($100 million with Houston).
New York's initial offer was for about $75 million over five years, and the Mets were prepared to go somewhat higher in average salary but were wary of offering a longer deal. Texas had told Zito's agent, Scott Boras, that it would withdraw its proposal if it wasn't accepted by the end of the week.


Updated : 2021-03-09 06:31 GMT+08:00