Daniels Stands Tall in Not Signing Zito
I was waiting. I was waiting for Zito to sign somewhere else so I can blast Jon Daniels for lacking guts and Tom Hicks for an unwillingness to spend. But not meeting the San Francisco Giants offer is a sound move.
Seven years and $126 million is simply too much for a pitcher. I understand how valuable they are, especially one of Zito's caliber. Let's just say I don't believe all the question marks raised by teams justifying to their fans why they weren't pursuing the best lefthanded starter available. Zito is, by no means, Chan Ho Park.
Despite that value, pitchers are also fragile. Just ask the Chicago Cubs. If their pitchers could stay healthy, the Cardinals might be an afterthought in the AL Central.
You could, and probably should spend that much per year on a starting pitcher in this market. But to commit that many years at that price is a death sentence for a franchise. The pitcher breaks down and/or declines and you have an untradeable asset and a ton of deadmoney tied up in one player.
So, Daniels is right on this one. The Rangers didn't become simply the faux contender used to drive up contract price. They made their offer, were willing to raise when told of the Giants offer and told Zito to decide. They come out strong.
And the Rangers have a better rotation, barring injury, than the one with which they started last season. McCarthy and Tejeda are young and will hit their bumps along the way, but these pitchers have Major League goods. And all four pitchers are off the market for the next three years at least.
And for anyone wondering where the Rangers money will go, remember Michael Young and Mark Teixiera will need new deals on or before 2008. And a long term center fielder would be a nice touch as well.
I will agree with fellow Powerhouser Jared that the Rangers need a quality lefty in the rotation. They're good for any rotation, but especially good in the Ballpark. That's one of the reasons I'm concerned with the trade of John Danks. Don' think I'd ever trade an up-and-coming southpaw.
So now, it's Mark Mulder and the hopes he rehabs well if he signs with Texas, or a prospect. We'll see how this goes.