Karl's Blog

Oakland Athletics: Paging Barry Zito

Suddenly, the Oakland Athletics starting rotation is looking incredibly dicey.

A.J. Griffin has been shutdown for three weeks as he deals with an “ailing right elbow.” Jarrod Parker’s entire 2014 season has been wiped out, as the right-hander will require Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career. Even Scott Kazmir is struggling with triceps tightness, although it’s reportedly just “minor” and he could be back in a day or two, as John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group tweets.

The onslaught of injuries got me thinking about Barry Zito, and just what exactly the former Oakland ace is up to these days. Apparently, I’m not the only one either.

About a month back, John Heyman of CBS Sports provided the latest on the lefty’s whereabouts:

Curiously, almost nothing was written about Zito this winter, and the reason for that is there’s no evidence he actively sought a job. Just the same, Zito isn’t ready to call it quits, either, according to people in the know.

Heyman also mentions that according to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, one rumor has it that Zito is “taking time off to surf.” What ever it is that Zito is up to, it doesn’t sound like the 36-year-old is terribly busy.

So, maybe general manager Billy Beane could give Zito a call. I know what you’re thinking. No, this isn’t a joke. Why not see if Zito would be willing to rejoin the organization on a minor league deal. Give him a month to pitch himself back into shape while spending time in extended spring training and Triple-A.

If at the end of that month he looks capable of contributing to the big-league rotation, he earns a modest $3 million salary, (or so) for the rest of the season. If not, he can go back to his voluntary free agency. Feel free to chime in with your take in the comments section below.

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