According to multiple sources, Barry Zito has agreed to terms with the San Francisco Giants on a seven-year, $126 million deal, which breaks down to an average annual value of $18 million per season.
The Mets looked like the frontrunners for a while, what with their deep pockets, pitcher's ballpark, National League, pitching coach, etc. It turns out that the Giants were able to offer all of those things except the pitching coach, but made up for that fact by offering a couple of years and a couple of million dollars more than the Mets were rumored to be offering.
The Mets' inability to sign Zito is bittersweet. Bitter because they could really use a young, dependable, very good pitcher. Sweet because I would have been borderline-apoplectic if they had spent that much money on Barry Zito. The hope all along was that the Mets would nab the lefty with an offer that probably wouldn't be the highest on the table, but with Zito being represented by Scott Boras, that was probably too much to wish for.
With Zito now unavailable, the Mets will turn either to the depleted free agent crop (Tomo Ohka anyone?), the trade market (offering the Pelfreys, Humbers and Heilmans of the world) or just going with what they've got in hopes of keeping it together until Pedro gets healthy.
A question for you guys: Did the Mets screw the pooch here in possibly playing these negotiations too casually? Should they have just thrown whatever it took to get Zito to Shea? Did they play it correctly, and were smart to let Zito sign elsewhere when the terms got as high as they did?