Giants decline option on Barry Zito

Unpublished

San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco Giants and pitcher Barry Zito have parted ways almost seven years after the club signed him to a seven-year, $126 million deal.

The Giants declined an $18 million team option for next season, buying Zito out for $7 million and making him a free agent.

Zito was 28 when the Giants signed him in December 2006, giving the 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner a then-record contract for a pitcher after he went 102-63 in seven seasons for the Oakland Athletics.

The left-hander rarely lived up to the contract, posting only one winning record in seven seasons for the Giants and never finishing with a sub-4.00 earned run average.

Zito, 35, went 63-80 in 208 games for the Giants, including 197 starts, with a 4.62 ERA. He never made an All-Star game with the team and led the majors with 17 losses in 2008.

He won two World Series with the Giants and received a standing ovation as he took the mound for his last appearance for the team, facing one batter Sept. 29.

"I still remember where I was when the contract was finalized and I knew it was going to be a heck of a ride, on the field and off, and it's certainly been that for me," Zito said Sept. 25 after getting a win in his final start with the Giants.

Last month, Zito bought a full-page ad in a San Francisco newspaper to thank Giants fans.

The Giants also parted ways with outfielder Andres Torres, who hit .250 in 203 games this past season.

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