Giants have no plans to trade Zito

Giants GM Brian Sabean said he has no plans to trade LHP Barry Zito, according to Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times

Zito, who was left off San Francisco’s post-season roster, has $64.5 million and three years left on his current contract.

I have had more than one insider tell me San Francisco and Zito could be a match for the Mets and Oliver Perez, assuming the Giants are willing to pay a portion of Zito’s 2011 salary.  However, according to Shaikin, “The Giants might be able to add some offensive help in trade if they were willing to swallow the bulk of that money.”

Zito’s ERA has ranged between 4.03 and 5.15 during his four years with the Giants, though he has pitched at least 180 innings every year.

This past season, he was 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA before the All-Star break, but 2-10 with a 4.70 ERA in the second half, including going 1-8 in his final 12 starts, all while the Giants surged to make the post season.

I have always enjoyed watching Zito pitch.  He’s been fairly consistent the last few seasons, in terms of his season-ending results.  He has, however, been very inconsistent from start to start.  He’s not going to win a Cy Young, but he’s significantly better than Perez… no question.  His loss of velocity, coupled with pitching up in the zone, is alarming, but in Citi Field that might be as bad as it is in other ballparks.

Interestingly, though Sandy Alderson was no longer with the organization, his long-time assistant, Grady Fuson, played a prominent role in the A’s drafting Zito.  There have been rumors that Alderson could look to bring Fuson to the Mets, from the Padres, to help run the draft and amateur scouting department.  So, if any one knows how best to evaluate Zito, you’d think it would be Fuson.

Either way, I don’t see a match with the Mets.

Like Shaikin says, it seems the Giants will want a bat for Zito, or they’d sooner keep him than trade him for a worse pitcher.  Though, I suppose freeing up future money could help them acquire a bat from the free agent market.