Originally Posted by vaticanplum
I don't want to be a broken record, but he works incredibly hard. He's one of the few already-great pitchers in baseball whom I think could adapt to this park.
Free agents are always, always going to be tough to come by for the Reds for just that reason. Our farm system isn't ready yet. Thus I think he is the best option.
This is a sincere question: by what metrics is he a worthy of being one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball? Guys often get paid for what they have done in the past but really, its important to value them for what they'll do over the course of their contract. Clearly Zito of the last three years isn't the same guy as the Zito of his first three seasons. He stills eats innings and his ERAs look good but his peripherals are getting pretty scary-especially for someone reportedly demanding 6-7 years at $15M per. Basically, his xFIPS have been steadily climbing, his K/G has been trending downward and his BB/G has been trending up. The latter two are death knells for a guy with flyball tendencies (in any park
). Right now xFIP is generally excepted as the best predictor of future performance for a pitcher. Zito's last year was an icky 5.46 (mlb average for starters was: 4.60). Importantly, Zito hasn't been above average relative to the league for the last three seasons using xFIP as an indicator.
So, IMHO, its a scary proposition to commit so much for so long to a guy whose peripherals seem to scream will be in a decline phase from day one of the contract. Intangibles be damned when talking about that kind of money.
I'd much rather use a stop gap like Lohse and hope Homer can be ready by August. I mean even if Zito gives you two solid years, what will you do for the final 4-5??? There is the potential that you'll have an even more expensive facsimile of Milton that can't be traded away. Truthfully, I'm not convinced that a good version of Zito in '07 puts the Reds into the playoffs.
Frankly, given the insane market for the mediocre crop of FA arms this year, I would've spent what money I had earmarked for FAs by loading up on offense and defense.
Anyways that's the world according to me....