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Z-Fly
11-27-2006, 12:26 PM
http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061127&content_id=1746036&vkey=hotstove2006&fext=.jsp

I didn't see this posted anywhere. Sorry if it was.

Guess that rumor is out the door too.

Degenerate39
11-27-2006, 12:27 PM
I wanted him to come to Cincy :(

cincy09
11-27-2006, 01:22 PM
Sounds like he really wanted to be back in SoCal. I wonder how many free agents (pitchers) would even consider Cincinnati?

TeamSelig
11-27-2006, 01:39 PM
Lowe, Penny, Wolf? Nice.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 01:41 PM
thought they already had one of those.

dunner13
11-27-2006, 01:44 PM
Rumor from rotoworld is that now that the dodgers have signed wolf they might still go after schmidt or zito and then trade penny for an OF. So Dunn for Penny and one of there prospects. I would like kemp but I doubt they would do him with penny.

JaxRed
11-27-2006, 01:50 PM
You don't want Penny if you are trading with Dodgers....... you want Billingsley.

Better pitcher, $7 million cheaper and 3 years from arbitration.

Team Clark
11-27-2006, 01:59 PM
You don't want Penny if you are trading with Dodgers....... you want Billingsley.

Better pitcher, $7 million cheaper and 3 years from arbitration.

I'll second that. That would be a good move.:thumbup:

Falls City Beer
11-27-2006, 02:31 PM
Screw that noise. Just cut through the bullcrap and sign Zito.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 02:34 PM
Screw that noise. Just cut through the bullcrap and sign Zito.even to a ridculously bad contract?(6/90M)

Falls City Beer
11-27-2006, 02:42 PM
even to a ridculously bad contract?(6/90M)

That's not going to be a crazy contract in two seasons. When he'll still be in his peak years.

If you get the willies having his contract around two seasons from now, and the team's fortunes take a downturn, firesell him.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 02:48 PM
That's not going to be a crazy contract in two seasons. When he'll still be in his peak years.His high BB rate, flyball tendencies and nominal K rate really scare the heck out of me, especially pitching in GABP. Through his career he has had a low hit%. Is it a function of some skill he has? I honestly wouldn't give any pitcher more than a 3 year deal. I don't think the Zito of the last three years is as good as people perceive him to be. I would hate to see the Reds create another anchor just when they are getting to unload one(after 2008).

flyer85
11-27-2006, 02:51 PM
food for thought on Zito


Player Profile
Barry Zito

by Marc Normandin

Sound the trumpets: ESPN.com's Rumor Central can quiet the Barry Zito trade rumors they have been so fond of for the past few seasons. Untraded to the end, Zito is at long last a free agent, and has roughly zero chance of not finding himself in another team's uniform come spring training. What is a bit more up for debate is just how productive Barry Zito actually can be in his post-Oakland years, and whether or not he will be worth the assumed risk that will go hand-in-hand with the massive contract offers he's sure to entertain.

Barry Zito was drafted ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 1999 out of the University of Southern California at age 21. That season in college, Zito had 154 strikeouts in 113.2 innings, and earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year honors. He was previously drafted by the Mariners in 1996 and then the Rangers in 1998, but declined to sign with either, as I’m sure both clubs have tried to forget every time Zito has taken the hill against them in one AL West stretch drive after another.

Zito would start his professional career at High-A Visalia, but found himself in Triple-A Sacramento before year's end:

IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 H/9 RA
Visalia (A+) 40.1 13.84 4.91 2.82 0.67 4.69 2.90
Midland (AA) 22.0 11.86 4.50 2.64 0.41 9.00 6.14

Besides the above, Zito also threw six innings-–with six batters whiffing and only two walks-–at the Triple-A level, and followed that up by posting a 2.40 ERA in three postseason games. The strikeout rates are quite tasty, and the K/BB ratio doesn't look too bad until you see that he allowed between 4.5 and 5 hitters to reach via the free pass per nine innings pitched. The low RA in Visalia appears to come almost entirely from his almost nonexistent hit rate. With all that out of the way, it's an impressive performance for a 21-year-old in his first taste of pro ball.

For the 2000 season, Zito started out in Triple-A Sacramento before earning a promotion to the major league club' he hasn't pitched an inning in the minors since.

IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 H/9 RA
Sacramento (AAA) 101.2 8.06 3.98 2.02 0.35 7.79 3.90
Oakland (MLB) 92.2 7.58 4.37 1.73 0.58 6.22 2.91

Here we see a decrease in strikeout rate while the walk rate only improved slightly. Of particular interest is the low hit rate that Zito gave up; to this day–-not to spoil the "surprise"-–he's maintained a low hit rate in almost every year of his career, excepting his subpar 2004 campaign. His 92 major league debut innings just happened to be of the freakishly-low hit rate variety, and a good thing too, since he was putting plenty of batters on base via walk.

Baseball Prospectus 2001 had some interesting information to divulge in regards to Zito's pre-Oakland days:

Barry Zito doesn’t have great velocity, but he's smart, even-keeled, and he’s got an incredible overhand curve. He also wasn't exactly your typical rookie in that he'd already received some coaching from A's pitching coach Rick Peterson (as a consultant) before he was even drafted. Watching him carve up the Yankees in Game Four of the ALDS was probably the highlight of the A's season. He may have a rough patch in the first half of 2001, but he's in the right organization to break through it.

Along with his home park, that curve is thought to be one of the significant factors in his low hit rates, which in turn means Zito allows lower-than-expected batting averages on balls in play. It certainly didn’t disappoint in any of the next three seasons, as Zito put on quite the show for a few Oakland playoff teams, nabbing a Cy Young along the way:

IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 H/9 RA BABIP
2001 214.1 8.61 3.36 2.56 0.76 7.73 3.86 .288
2002 229.1 7.14 3.06 2.33 0.94 7.14 3.10 .251
2003 231.2 5.67 3.42 1.66 0.74 7.23 3.81 .244

His K/9 cratered while his walk rate remained relatively steady, but the lack of hits against him continued to generate success. It’s fairly difficult and also fairly unusual to remain successful with such a poor K/BB ratio, especially when you're giving up a decent number of home runs, but with all of the foul ground in Network Associates Coliseum coupled with his dominating curveball, Zito produced a great deal of value over this three-year span. Those BABIP figures are ridiculously low, and clearly helped mask his 2003 decline. Oakland's park had a .279 BABIP over this three-year span, whereas the league average was .297.

After the 2003 season, Rick Peterson took off to New York to be the Mets' new pitching coach, leaving Zito and the other two members of the vaunted Big Three behind. Baseball Prospectus 2004 was on top of things heading into '04:

He didn't win the Cy Young in 2003, but he still pitched very well. Analysts are more than a little worried about the trend in his K rate. Zito walks a few guys, has a tendency to throw a fair number of flyballs, and he’s thrown a pretty big number of innings over the last three years. That K rate's gone from among the league's best to below league average, and it’s not as if Zito, who works to change the eye-plane of the hitter from high to low, has suddenly become Chad Bradford. A high K rate is an indicator of a low future ERA. Zito's performance record is certainly outstanding, but there is a non-negligible risk of a precipitous decline. PECOTA sees regression on the way.

PECOTA forecasted 200+ innings once again, but with a much more hittable Zito present. His 2004 results weren't what you could describe as a pleasant development:

IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 H/9 RA BABIP
2004 213.0 6.89 3.42 2.01 1.18 9.13 4.90 .299

He managed to salvage his strikeout rate, bringing it back above the league-average level, but he was clearly missing something in 2004. His home runs allowed skyrocketed by almost half a homer per nine, and his BABIP shot up by more than fifty points. Opponents hit .288/.365/.442 against Zito on the road, and only .240/.302/.412 in Oakland. This steep split wasn't as much of a factor from 2001-2003, when Zito’s opponents hit .227/.295/.352 in Oakland and .218/.299/.322 on the road. The question needed to be asked: Without Peterson around, did Zito’s curve lose some of its grandeur?

Baseball Prospectus 2005 seemed to feel that Zito could right the ship, although not quite to 2001-2003 levels:

Maybe the league's seen his bag of tricks often enough. He'll still flash that knee-buckling bender now and again, but it's been two years since has been able to snap those off for strikes at will. Vida Blue didn't age that well either, and he had more talent than Zito.

PECOTA didn't seem overly optimistic, churning out roughly the same numbers or worse for his peripherals. In the face of such grim expectations, Zito was able to rebound somewhat, and I’m sure you can guess how he did it:

IP K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 H/9 RA BABIP
2005 228.1 6.74 3.51 1.92 1.02 7.29 4.18 .249
2006 213.2 6.02 3.96 1.52 1.10 8.42 3.83 .287

Although 2005 was a rebound in the BABIP department–-and nothing else, really-–2006 looks like Zito should have regressed further, back towards the 2004 levels of blech-ery. However, he somehow managed to post a shiny ERA, which should make potential shoppers somewhat leery, due to the level of uncertainty surrounding what they might be able to expect.

From everything that’s been put together, it seems as if Barry Zito will need, in no particular order:

* A pitcher's park, preferably one where flyballs go to meet their end in an outfielder’s glove.
* Rick Peterson as his pitching coach
* Alyssa Milano

I wish I was kidding about the Milano part, but every pitcher she dates seems to do well during that ttime. I'm not saying correlation equals causation here, but it’s best to be prepared when throwing out substantial contracts.

The Mets are the only team that can offer two of those three to Zito, and the flyball portion of his needs wherever he pitches is particularly important:

Year FB% LINERD% GB% IF/F% HR/F P/PA
2004 44.2% 18.8% 37.0% 16.4% 11.5% 4.0
2005 37.4% 20.8% 41.8% 19.3% 12.9% 4.0
2006 45.3% 16.5% 38.2% 13.3% 10.4% 3.9

He gives up a fair number of line drives, and those flyball rates are higher than the groundball ones. Toss in the number of home runs he allows while remembering that he'll probably get worse before he markedly improves, and it may be wise to hold off on showering Zito with scads o’cash. If the Mets get him–-and if there’s actually something positive that will happen to him back under Rick Peterson's tutelage-–then he should be worth the contract. Additionally, from 2004-2006 Shea's BABIP was .291, while league average was .301. If San Diego signs him, Petco (.288 BABIP) may be even better able to do for Zito what the Coliseum did. Beyond that pair of suitors, it’s probably best that teams like the Rangers and the Yankees avoid Zito, and better for Zito if he only treats their bids as leverage.

Zito has gained a great deal of fame for some incredible pitching in the past, as well as his reputation as a goofy left-hander. This has kept him in the spotlight for some time in Oakland, even during a time where few Athletics players were given much love by the national media. He'll certainly be paid for what he has done rather than what he will do, but unless the situation turns out to be just right, the club that signs him may very well regret it as soon as year two or three of what will most likely be a much longer deal.

Marc Normandin is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus. You can reach Marc by clicking here or click here to see Marc's other articles.

Will M
11-27-2006, 02:52 PM
IMO Zito is a bad fit for GABP. And to get him we would have to win a huge bidding war.

Johnny Footstool
11-27-2006, 02:57 PM
From everything that’s been put together, it seems as if Barry Zito will need, in no particular order:

* A pitcher's park, preferably one where flyballs go to meet their end in an outfielder’s glove.
* Rick Peterson as his pitching coach
* Alyssa Milano

I wish I was kidding about the Milano part, but every pitcher she dates seems to do well during that ttime. I'm not saying correlation equals causation here, but it’s best to be prepared when throwing out substantial contracts.

Forget Zito -- sign Alyssa Milano.

RANDY IN INDY
11-27-2006, 02:57 PM
IMO Zito is a bad fit for GABP. And to get him we would have to win a huge bidding war.

:beerme:

Zito ain't comin' to Cincy.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 02:58 PM
Forget Zito -- sign Alyssa Milano.... she does seem to get passed around.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 02:59 PM
:beerme:

Zito ain't comin' to Cincy.maybe Cast could convince him the Ohio River is really an ocean ... great surfing(probably wouldn't even need your own board).

Falls City Beer
11-27-2006, 03:02 PM
His high BB rate, flyball tendencies and nominal K rate really scare the heck out of me, especially pitching in GABP. Through his career he has had a low hit%. Is it a function of some skill he has? I honestly wouldn't give any pitcher more than a 3 year deal. I don't think the Zito of the last three years is as good as people perceive him to be. I would hate to see the Reds create another anchor just when they are getting to unload one(after 2008).

Then I can only assume that you'd prefer to just wait it out and see if the kids can come up from the farm?

That's not an indictment. I'm genuinely curious how you would deal with the Reds' massive personnel problems.

I take building the farm as a given, something that can't really be helped right now except by allowing guys like Aurilia and Weather to walk. But to me, it's not an active strategy. I'm all for building the farm, but I'm not sure what that has to do with tinkering with the big club. So then I have to assume that trades are your preferred big league mechanism. Whom would you target in trade?

flyer85
11-27-2006, 03:15 PM
I'm genuinely curious how you would deal with the Reds' massive personnel problems. There is no easy answer to that. Unfortunately the Reds place in the market almost dictates that you have to develop your own pitching and capitalize on it during it cheap years.

What I can say is overspending on Barry Zito is not a way to solve the problems. It will likely only make them worse. The issue is not really Barry Zito, it's a more basic question of how you solve the shortage of major league arms within your organization. Most teams that have tried to plug even minor shortages with free agent signings have failed(certainly with high priced ones). If you want a model of how to go about it I would have to say the Cards are the best example. None of their 2006 starters(other than the callup Reyes) were acquired as high priced free agents. They used trades(Mulder, Marquis, Weaver) and signing low end free agents(Carpenter, Suppan).

Of course even if the Reds address the starting pitching problem there is still a massive hole in the bullpen.

So I would bottom feed a couple of free agent pitchers and turn the bullpen jobs over to the young guys(certainly guys like Cormier and Stanton are going to solve the problem).

I would also look at trade targets that are being bypassed by their current orgs but have intruiging arms. Like Davis and Guthrie of the Indians.

Falls City Beer
11-27-2006, 03:30 PM
There is no easy answer to that. Unfortunately the Reds place in the market almost dictates that you have to develop your own pitching and capitalize on it during it cheap years.

What I can say is overspending on Barry Zito is not a way to solve the problems. It will likely only make them worse. The issue is not really Barry Zito, it's a more basic question of how you solve the shortage of major league arms within your organization. Most teams that have tried to plug even minor shortages with free agent signings have failed(certainly with high priced ones). If you want a model of how to go about it I would have to say the Cards are the best example. None of their 2006 starters(other than the callup Reyes) were acquired as high priced free agents. They used trades(Mulder, Marquis, Weaver) and signing low end free agents(Carpenter, Suppan).

Of course even if the Reds address the starting pitching problem there is still a massive hole in the bullpen.

So I would bottom feed a couple of free agent pitchers and turn the bullpen jobs over to the young guys(certainly guys like Cormier and Stanton are going to solve the problem).

I would also look at trade targets that are being bypassed by their current orgs but have intruiging arms. Like Davis and Guthrie of the Indians.

I'd be fine with picking up either Guthrie and Davis, but I think you should count on losing some decent prospects or one offensive producer for a guy who could come apart (Davis) or a guy who's not done a damn thing at the MLB level by age 28 (Guthrie). I wouldn't give up much of anything for either guy and I wouldn't expect much from either. But if they could be gotten cheap, hey, go for it.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 03:39 PM
I'd be fine with picking up either Guthrie and Davis, but I think you should count on losing some decent prospects or one offensive producer for a guy who could come apart (Davis) or a guy who's not done a damn thing at the MLB level by age 28 (Guthrie). I wouldn't give up much of anything for either guy and I wouldn't expect much from either. But if they could be gotten cheap, hey, go for it.Guthrie is out of options and I would say neither he or Davis are in the Indians plans. The Indians have tended to overpromote their pitchers and in the process have not been able to figure out who will be valuable and who they can cast off. They are likely to make some serious mistakes.

Nobody thought much of Harang when he was acquired(Valentine was the supposed "hot" prospect).

Falls City Beer
11-27-2006, 03:42 PM
Guthrie is out of options and I would say neither he or Davis are in the Indians plans. The Indians have tended to overpromote their pitchers and in the process have not been able to figure out who will be valuable and who they can cast off. They are likely to make some serious mistakes.

Nobody thought much of Harang when he was acquired(Valentine was the supposed "hot" prospect).

But at least Harang was a starter that K'ed a few in his minor league career and came from an organization that knows how to rear pitchers.

I liked Harang. Wasn't nuts about him, but I liked his prospects better than Valentines.

But really only on the basis of his ability to start and stay away from major injuries.

What about bringing starters, the Reds' most pressing need?

flyer85
11-27-2006, 03:44 PM
What about bringing starters, the Reds' most pressing need?I would try Guthrie and Davis as starters. These guys might have had a lot more minor league success if they hadn't been so overpromoted.

Instead I am sure we will get Milton and Lohse for $13M.

Falls City Beer
11-27-2006, 03:45 PM
I would try Guthrie and Davis as starters. Instead I am sure we will get Milton and Lohse for $13M.

I'm thinking Lohse won't come for less than 5.5 million.

flyer85
11-27-2006, 03:47 PM
I'm thinking Lohse won't come for less than 5.5 million.

:runawaycr

BRM
11-27-2006, 03:49 PM
I'm thinking Lohse won't come for less than 5.5 million.

Milton and Lohse anchoring the 3 and 4 spots in the rotation for $14.5M? :help:

mth123
11-27-2006, 08:26 PM
His high BB rate, flyball tendencies and nominal K rate really scare the heck out of me, especially pitching in GABP. Through his career he has had a low hit%. Is it a function of some skill he has? I honestly wouldn't give any pitcher more than a 3 year deal. I don't think the Zito of the last three years is as good as people perceive him to be. I would hate to see the Reds create another anchor just when they are getting to unload one(after 2008).

You are exactly right. I think Zito will be a huge bust if he goes to the wrong park. Not only did the ball not carry in Oakland, he had basically 3 CF in the OF running down the fly balls with Kotsay, Bradley and Payton. If there is a situation in all of baseball for a flyball pitcher with a lousy walk rate to succeed that was about as good as it could be. I guess that same cast playing in Petco would be better.