allegedly offering Barry Zito $100 million over 6 years. I’m sure that includes
all kinds of incentives and clauses and perks and what not.
Considering what Zito would bring to the Mets, I’d have no
problem giving him an ABSURD amount of money in salary. What I am NOT
comfortable with is giving him a massive amount of money for a long period of
If I were Omar Minaya, my offer to Zito would be:
Five years, $98 million dollars:
2007: $20 million
2008: $20 million
2009: $20 million
2010: $15 million player option; full no trade clause
2011: $18 million team option, $5 million buyout clause.
Basically, $80 million guaranteed four seasons as opposed to
$100 over six, with the opportunity of Zito to become a free agent again at age
31 instead of age 34.
If he has a serious injury in 2009 (or career-ending before
that) he can exercise his player option and then the Mets would buy him out
after year four; giving him $80 million over four years.
If he’s healthy for three seasons and thinks he can get more
than $33 million over the next two seasons — or if he just hates playing in
New York — he can decline his option and become a free agent (the JD Drew saga
this off season would make that likely possibility), resulting in more money
earned than by taking the Texas deal.
If he stays with the Mets for the duration, it’s a better
offer than Texas, because he’d
only need to find a $2 million contract for 2012 to make more money than what Texas offered.
I’d offer only a full no-trade for 2010, so the Mets can’t
trade him to a team that would pick up his 2011 option. And there isn’t really
a need for anything more than that.
In the first three years, if he’s good, the Mets have no
reason to trade him.
If he’s bad, no one will want him at $20 million through
2009 (the $15 mil plus $5 million buyout)
If the Mets somehow did trade him just to make the team
better — say for Brandon Webb or Jake Peavy (although, I doubt such a scenario
would arise), his player option for 2010 gives him the ability to walk from
that team anyway after 2009.
Plus, if the Mets are rebuilding in 2009 or 2010 (again, I
doubt such a scenario would arise) he could ask to be dealt at the 2009
deadline, decline his option with the new team and become a free agent after
But if he asked for a full no trade clause, I’d negotiate it
in there, because if he’s good, the Mets are not going to want to trade him. If
he’s bad, no one will take him at that salary anyway.
And it makes sense for Zito personally. if you look at his
total career path. If he leaves us after three seasons ($60 mil) and then signs
a 5-year $75 million deal from someone who doesn’t have apprehensions about
injuries, he’d make $135 million over eight years.
He gets to play for a clear contender that should compete
for the duration of the contract baring some doomsday scenario. And he has the
escape clause if he’s unhappy in New York,
simply wants more money, or just wants to go back to California.
His injury protection is drastically reduced (by $20 million
guaranteed in 2011 and 2012 compared to
the Texas offer), but in a
realistic sense any baseball player of his caliber is set for life with either
Also, he would become a 10-year service man with our
contract even if he gets injured before the end of 2009 (by exercising his
player option for year four), so full pension no matter what.