Zito Clearing Waivers Means Nothing Right Now

By Denise Walos
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I was sad to read the news last night of Barry Zito clearing waivers. I was really hoping to see him do well for himself and the Giants again this year. Unfortunately it doesn’t look likely to happen. Zito is 4-8 with a 5.40 ERA this year. It’s too bad Zito couldn’t just pitch at AT&T Park where he has a 3.01 ERA.

What does this mean for Zito’s future with the Giants? For a veteran with a huge contract this doesn’t mean much. It was just a move by the Giants to see if there was any interest from other teams to acquire him in a trade.

Zito is set to make at least $20 million this season with a $7 million buyout next year. If another team claimed him, they would be responsible for paying the remainder of his salary.

Last night on Twitter, many fans commented, “I didn’t even know the Giants put Zito on waivers.” A few others said, “I’m happy the Giants finally DFA’ed Zito.” There is a big difference between waivers and being designated for assignment (DFA’ed).  For those that don’t know the difference, here are a few facts to remember.

Designated for Assignment: Player is immediately removed from the team’s 40-man roster, then the team has 10 days to return them to roster or:

  • Place the player on waivers (which can only be done within the first 7 days of the 10-day period)
  • Trade the player
  • Release the player
  • Outright the player from the 40-man roster into the Minor Leagues (If player has less than 5 yrs MLB service)

Waivers:

  • After the July 31st trade deadline, a player must be placed on waivers for them to be eligible to be traded
  • A player can only be placed on waivers within the first 7 days of the 10-day period
  • Any team can claim a player on waivers starting with the current league (worst to best record) then moving to other league (worst to best record)

The Giants have ten days to decide what to do with Zito now that he has cleared waivers (if they do anything). Zito has 14 years of service in MLB so the Giants can’t outright him to the minor leagues. They can either keep him on the 40-man roster or release him. Given what he did for the team last year, the Giants will probably keep him around and go with the $7 million buyout option in 2014.

Andrew Baggarly reported on Wednesday:

"Of course no club would claim Zito and pay him $5 million or so for the remaining six weeks on his contract. They’d be on the hook for the $7 million buyout on his club option for next season, too. In fact, it’s a good bet that the Giants have placed Zito on waivers the last six years, and if anyone had ever claimed him, we’d know about it."

Zito’s achievements over the years:

  • 3-time AL All-Star (2002, 2003 & 2006)
  • AL Cy Young Award Winner (2002)
  • AL Wins Leader (2002)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (2001, 2002, 2006 & 2012)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (2002)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 6 (2001-2006)
  • 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (2001)
  • Won two World Series with the San Francisco Giants in 2010 and 2012 (he did not play in the 2010 World Series)
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